HC Deb 14 April 1845 vol 79 cc594-671
Mr. Hawes

said, that considering the number of petitions which had been presented against the Bill, and the deep interest that had been taken in the progress of the measure out of doors, they would be warranted in the conclusion that the Bill was one of great and vital importance to the interests of the country; and yet when he (Mr. Hawes) examined it—when he came to look at its contents—he should say that he saw nothing in it to account for the strength of opposition with which it had been assailed, or the large and important consequences which it was supposed were likely to follow its enactment. Looking at this as a measure to promote education in Ireland, and as the extension of a principle already adopted, and which had been for a long time acted upon by Parliament, he could not see how all that had been said out of doors with respect to it was called for by the contents of the measure itself. He (Mr. Hawes) could not agree with the "No Popery" cry which had been raised in reference to this subject—a cry which had been raised by a party who were always opposed to education and religious freedom; and who were now joined in their opposition to this Bill, he was sorry to say, by some of those who were the best friends of civil and religious liberty. He hoped and trusted, however, that as the discussion went on, they would be enabled to show what a clear and distinct division in principle there was between those two parties. The speech which the right hon. Member for Newark had made on this subject on Friday was one worthy of much attention; for it was a speech which changed the aspect of the question altogether, and which called for observations from him which would have been wholly unnecessary if that speech had not been made. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gladstone) belonged to a party who had always opposed all modification or alienation of Irish Church property, who were disposed to maintain the Irish Church Establishment in all its integrity, and who were altogether opposed to any measure for rendering any of that property liable to be applied to the purposes of grants for the improvement of education in Ireland, or any other purpose than that to which it was now applied. Was he to understand the speech of the right hon. Gentleman on this measure, as admitting that the religious question regarding the endowment of the College of Maynooth, had been settled? If so, then the political question was also settled; for the real question which had been raised was a question of a religious character; and when the right hon. Gentleman said that the religious question was settled, then he considered the political question in this respect settled also. The Act was merely entitled "An Act for the better education of persons professing the Roman Catholic religion, and for the better government of the College established at Maynooth for the education of such persons." He did not feel disposed to agree to a permanent endowment of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland out of British money, until the whole question of the Irish Church had been previously brought under the consideration of the House, and means taken by the Legislature to reduce it within proportions more in accordance with the spiritual wants of its members than at present. He could not, for his part, consent to have two religious establishments supported in Ireland, one deriving its maintenance from the landed property of the Irish Church Establishment, and the other deriving its support from the Consolidated Fund. The Irish Church Establishment, as it at present existed, was not defensible: it was not the Church of the majority, and it could not for a moment pretend that it instructed the people of Ireland. In fact, every ground on which an establishment could be defended failed with regard to the Irish Church; and therefore those were justified who supported the proposition that the Irish Church property was the true source from which an endowment of the Roman Catholic Church ought to be obtained, if they were to agree to any endowment for that purpose. Connecting this proposal to increase the grant to the College of Maynooth with the speech of the right hon. Baronet opposite last year—on the Irish policy of the Government — he was disposed to look upon the present measure as the precursor of ulterior measures; and looking upon it as such, he could not consent to those ulterior measures, unless they looked at the Protestant Church Establishment in Ireland as the source from which a provision for the Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland was to come. Those were the opinions which he held with regard to such an ulterior measure as that which he had alluded to, and, holding those opinions, he would not vote against the second reading of this Bill. He would vote for going into Committee upon it; and in addition to supporting the Motion of his hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, he would himself bring forward two propositions—one to the effect that a grant to the College of Maynooth, if made at all, ought to be an annual grant, subject to the control of Parliament, and that, accompanying such a grant, they ought to omit the mockery of a visitation.—[Sir Robert Peel: We propose to make that alteration]. It would be a great deal better to give up such a system of visitation, and to let the Parliament annually grant the funds which were to be appropriated to the College, and have at the same time a proper control over the College. The principle of making the grant an annual one had been acted upon for forty-five years, and the discussions which had from time to time taken place in the House of Commons on that subject were calculated rather to benefit the cause of religious liberty in Ireland. If he should fail to make the grant an annual one, he should feel himself at perfect liberty to take any course he pleased on the third reading of the Bill, and to consider the whole question with reference to what would be its effects upon Irish as well as English policy; because if he voted for the Bill in its present shape, he should consider that he was sanctioning indirectly the future policy of the Government with reference to Ireland and with reference to the Catholic Church. It would in fact be neither more nor less than a vote of confidence in the future policy of the Government, and that policy was so darkly and so suspiciously shadowed out, that he could not repose confidence in it. He did not join with those who opposed this measure as calculated to encourage the Catholic religion, nor did he think that if the grant were refused it would discourage that religion. He held the proposition to be perfectly harmless in that point of view; and he knew that a large body of Dissenters concurred in the opinion expressed by the Scotch Dissenters in a resolution adopted by them in Edinburgh to that effect; but he should, as he had stated, vote for the second reading, with the intention of proposing his Amendments in Committee, and reserving to himself the right to take an unfettered course on the third reading.

Sir T. Fremantle

, in offering a few observations to the House, could not pass over the speech of the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, without saying that it appeared to him that he had acted rather hastily in judging what the policy of Her Majesty's Government was to be with reference to the future in Ireland. He had stated that with reference to the Bill itself he did not entertain any great objection, but he considered, from the speech of the hon. Member for Newark, that it was the precursor of more important measures, and on that ground he looked at it with jealousy. His right hon. Friend the Member for Newark had quitted the Government on this very question, and therefore he was the last person who ought to be taken as an exponent of the views of Government. The hon. Gentleman had stated also that the policy of the Government was darkly shadowed out, and that, therefore, unless he could modify the Bill, he should vote against the third reading. On looking generally at this question, he felt that after the very able exposition which had been given of the measure and views of the Government by his right hon. Friend at the head of the Administration, he could do nothing to add to or explain it. He wished, however, in reference to his position and feeling, to state the grounds on which he concurred entirely in this measure. The opposition to this measure came from two sources; from those who opposed it entirely on religious grounds, and those who opposed it upon what was called the voluntary principle, who objected to any grant of public money in aid of the Church. With regard to the first, he confessed he could not concur with them in thinking that this ought to be viewed as a religious question. Undoubtedly, it had been stated, truly, that every act of a man's life ought to be subject to moral and religious responsibility, and so ought every act of a legislator; but he could not see in what way religious principles were violated by voting for a measure of this kind. The hon. Gentleman opposite had stated, and he concurred with him, that whether this vote were passed over or refused, it would not encourage or discourage, in the slightest degree, the Catholic religion in Ireland. We were dealing with a population of between 6,000,000 and 7,000,000; and was it to be supposed, that whether we gave a better or a worse education to the priests, that the extension of the priesthood or of the Catholic religion would be affected one way or another by the education or the non-education of these individuals? because he did not understand in what way the religious question itself, or proselytising, could arise, unless we presumed that there was to be some effect produced on those who were not now Roman Catholics by the operation of this grant. He conceived, therefore, that he was justified, without reference to religious considerations, in voting, as a matter of charity and public expediency, in favour of this measure. His hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford had brought this question home in a much more intelligible way, because he had put it very strongly, that for his part he would not consent to pay a person who taught that which was erroneous in doctrine. That was a very intelligible principle; the question was whether we could act on that principle. He thought that his hon. Friend himself could not altogether refuse, under certain circumstances, to act on the contrary principle. It was a very good principle to lay down; but he conceived that his hon. Friend himself might be placed in a situation as landlord, guardian, or parent, or in any other relation in private life, in which he might be called on to act, and act willingly, on the contrary principle. His right hon. Friend had stated, the other night, the case of a landlord in Ireland. What case could be stronger than that? Was the right hon. Baronet prepared to state that he would leave a large population in Ireland without religious instruction—without the opportunity of providing for themselves, because he would not assist in building a chapel or paying a minister? If his right hon. Friend would act on that principle, the Legislature could not. We had lately violated that principle; the Statute Book had several enactments in which that principle had been violated—in which we not only sanctioned but directed and enforced the payment of persons to teach what were considered erroneous doctrines. There was also the case of chaplains in gaols and workhouses; Government having directed those who had authority in those institutions to appoint and pay chaplains for performing the Roman Catholic service. So every military hospital was furnished with Roman Catholic chaplains, if there were a sufficient number of Roman Catholic soldiers in the hospital to require their attendance. That practice had been sanctioned for years, and he thought his hon. Friend was not the person to object to payment in those cases. He could not see that any religious principle was violated, or that the interests of the Established Church or of Protestantism were violated in providing religious instruction under such circumstances. That part of the question had been advocated over and over again in the House; and in the speech of a Member distinguished in former days, it was stated in language so much better than any he could now use, that he would take the liberty of citing it. In 1808, when the subject was very much agitated on the occasion of the Vote to Maynooth, Mr. Elliott said,— As to the statement of the right hon. Genleman that it was unprecedented to provide for the education of the ministers of a religion not that of the State, he observed that the state of the Irish Catholics was an extraordinary anomaly. They might wish the case to be otherwise; but they were to take the country as it was, and to give as much moral and political improvement as it was capable of. Gentlemen might talk of restraint, but that had been the principle of the penal code, and had failed. They might degrade the Catholics, they might make them bad subjects, bad Catholics, bad Christians; but they could not by such means make them Protestants. There was no effectual mode of improving the condition of Ireland but by instructing and enlightening the clergy and the people of the Catholic persuasion. There was one other extract to which he would call the attention of the House. Mr. Grattan, in 1808, said,— By reducing the grant the House would be securing the ignorance and inveterate prejudices of a great portion of the Catholics. Proselytism was not to be expected under such circumstances. Religious conformity was impracticable, and political conformity, which was in their power, they would destroy by the course proposed. In these observations he very much concurred, and setting aside altogether religious instruction, he would proceed to other points which he thought were much more to the purpose. His right hon. Friend (Sir R. Peel) in a former debate went through the whole history of the subject; it was, therefore, wholly unnecessary for him to go over the same ground. Considering that the college had been wholly supported since 1795 by grants from Parliament, he thought it would be inconsistent with good faith and with honour to discontinue it now. Even Mr. Perceval himself spoke of this grant as a legacy left them by the Irish Parliament, and he thought that the Imperial Parliament had no right to refuse the grant. His words were these,— On every question for an increase of grant, it was fit to consider what was the amount of what was enjoyed before. 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 the 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 he should vote for the proposition of his right hon. Friend. Some hon. Members held that the question was settled by the Act of Union, and that the House had no right now to increase the grant. Let him ask how often alterations and augmentations had taken place in the grant since that time. It appeared to him that the Bill would establish no new principle. New wants had arisen before, and they had been supplied. New wants had again arisen; where could be the violation of principle in now doing what had been done before? Every one would admit—nay, it could not be denied—that since 1795 the Roman Catholic population of Ireland had nearly doubled then it was under 4,000,000, now it was nearly 7,000,000. He would not set up any question of compact, for, in his opinion, only those who shrunk from a great moral obligation would rely upon that argument; but did any one for a moment suppose that had the Irish Parliament existed up to the present period, the grant would ever have been withdrawn? On the contrary, it was notorious that the Catholics of Ireland were led to expect, and did expect, that they would be dealt with even more liberally by the Imperial Parliament than by the local Legislature. He would not set up a compact, but he thought it was a perfectly good argument to use in order to show that the grant could not consistently be now refused. The position of the Roman Catholics in Ireland could not be placed upon a level with that of the Dissenters in England—they were steeped in poverty—he spoke of them in the mass, and if they had no college until they established one themselves they would be without it for ever. It was true, no doubt, that large sums were collected from them, under circumstances of great excitement; but it did not at all follow that the sums necessary for the support of such an establishment could be raised. Indeed, the wretched state in which the College had been suffered to remain for years past, showed their inability to contribute sufficiently for such a purpose. In his opinion, upon such a question, they ought not to legislate for Ireland under an English feeling. It was only a few years ago since an hon. Member of that House proposed that the Parliament should be ambulatory—that it should one year sit in London, then in Edinburgh, and again in Dublin. Just let them realize that idea in their own minds for a moment—let them convey themselves in imagination to Dublin—let them see the Catholic population in all its squalid misery, and they would view the question in a very different light from that with which many hon. Members appeared to look at it. It did not affect any interest in England; it affected no imperial question; why not then look at it as an Irish question, and deal with it as if they were Irish Members. In support of that argument, he might appeal to the contrast exhibited in the conduct of Ireland and of England in regard to petitions. Their Table was covered with petitions from all places in England, while the number against the measure from Ireland is very small indeed. Some portions of the Protestants in that country are even in favour of the measure. It was well known that there was a great and important part of the population of Ireland who were most determined enemies of the Catholic faith; but they, looking at the question in an Irish view, forbore to petition against a measure which they conceived a healing one. The state of the College had been often described as a disgrace to the country, and he had never heard it denied. The Report of the Trustees of the Establishment said,— To conclude, we have stated but a small part of the wants of the College, nor have we attempted to describe to your Excellency the evils which must follow from the neglect of so important an institution as a College destined to supply the spiritual wants of 7,000,000 of British subjects in Ireland. If it is doomed to go on without an increased support, the alternative will be that one-half of the Catholic population must be left without pastors, or priests insufficiently educated must be sent out to preside over their respective congregations as they may. The evil consequences of either, in a civil and religious view, are too glaring to require description. If, however, the present Government should patronise a proposal for an increase of the Parliamentary grant on the same terms as the former grant, sufficient to provide for the better education of at least 500 students, to improve their accommodation by the erection of new buildings, or the reparation of the old, the Trustees will be enabled to carry out fully the benevolent intentions of the Government in the original establishment of the College, a great occasion of national discontent will be removed, and the whole Catholic population will acknowledge a deep debt of gratitude for the concession. Many hon. Gentlemen opposed the proposition of Her Majesty's Government on the ground that the College had failed in the object proposed by it. The present state of the College was a sufficient answer to that argument. His right hon. Friend had well said in his statement, "You give enough to prevent voluntary contributions, but not enough to support the College." This was a fair reason for increasing the grant. At present the professors were anxious to leave the College and take cures, because the allowance was inadequate for their remuneration; the students could not quit it without the remembrance of many things that caused something of a feeling of degradation; he thought it well worth the expenditure of a few pounds to introduce a better state of feeling. The students would feel grateful for the advantages they had enjoyed, and would be less disposed to adopt a line of hostility to the Government, and engage in political agitation. He approved of the measure, because it held out to the Roman Catholics of Ireland an earnest of the good intentions of the present Government towards them, of its intentions to conduct the affairs of that country in a spirit of kindness and confidence; without that confidence of the people which he anticipated from this measure, no Government could be carried on. It was their first duty impartially to administer the laws for the benefit of all: in a country where free principles did not prevail, it was easy to appeal to the military force, but under free institutions they had not such means at their disposal; the fair administration of the laws would secure to the Government the aid and support of the people themselves. The whole of the machinery of the law, the police, the constabulary, the witnesses, the jurors, were taken from among the people themselves, and if they did not give their support to the administration of the law, the Government could not be carried on. The increased confidence of the people would diminish agitation, and favour the domestic improvement of the country. He was happy there was a prospect of such a state of things arising in Ireland; railways were being introduced, and there was a disposition to promote improvements in agriculture, and he hoped that a better period had arisen for the Irish people. He rejoiced the Government had taken this step; he believed they had done it in a spirit of conciliation, and that it had been so received in Ireland, which he trusted would derive all the benefit he anticipated from it.

Mr. F. Maule

was perfectly aware that it would be hopeless for him to command the attention of the House at a period of the evening when they would naturally be looking to some more distinguished Member to address them, and he trusted therefore they would permit him now to offer a few observations, and explain his reasons why he should give his vote against the second reading. Before, however, he did so, he could not pass over the address which the House had heard from the right hon. Gentleman who preceded him, and he really ventured to congratulate him that, upon assuming the office he now held, he had the good fortune to inherit the mantle of his noble Friend (Lord Morpeth); for the better part of his speech contained opinions in which he (Mr. Maule) entirely concurred, and which he had frequently heard when on the opposite benches proceed from the lips of his noble Friend. He thought the speech which the right hon. Baronet had directed immediately to the question, was not one which supported the proposition of the Government with any great strength of argument. The right hon. Gentleman, first of all, stated, in reply to his hon. Friend the Member for Lambeth, who viewed the question as one having ulterior objects, that to those ulterior objects he had no right in this debate to point. He granted to the right hon. Gentleman that the right of contradiction lay with him, provided he stated to the House that the anticipations of his hon. Friend were at all unfounded. But the right hon. Gentleman, as the representative of the Irish policy of the Government in that House, had not ventured, or had not chosen rather, to give, either to his Friends or to the House generally, the smallest hint to guide them in their judgment; and, therefore, he had a right, and he meant to assume it, and to make it the ground of his opposition to the Bill, that it was not a final measure, but must lead to ulterior results, of which he could not approve. With reference to the opinions entertained on the subject, he believed no one could doubt—unless the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government — no one else could doubt that a strong feeling existed in the public mind, and that the petitions relating to it did not emanate from a central association got up in London. He was glad to find that the right hon. Baronet had become enlightened on this subject; but with reference to the few petitions which had been presented in favour of the measure, and particularly that one which the right hon. Gentleman had himself presented a few nights ago, with much form and great impressiveness, he would say that he was not surprised at that petition having been presented. It would have been the height of ingratitude if such a petition had not been forwarded in favour of the measure; for from whom did it emanate? From very respectable persons, no doubt; but they were parties who had had a Bill of their own before the House last year. They were the parties who benefited by the Dissenters Chapels Bill, for which the Catholics of Ireland very numerously petitioned. It would, therefore, have been the height of ingratitude if they had not come forward on the present occasion to support the Catholics in their claim. There were other petitions, but so few in number that he should not trouble the House with referring to them. With respect to the question itself, he was sure the House would acquit him, and sure also that his hon. and right hon. Friends around him would acquit him, of all wish to discuss the matter in any spirit of hostility to the Roman Catholic population of Ireland. In discussing the question before the House, he had no wish to enter into any religious disputes whatever. He thought that he might claim for himself the right of discussing it simply as a political measure brought forward by the Government; but in doing so, it was impossible not to allude, more or less, to the tendency which it had to rouse the religious feelings and the opposition of the people of this country. In reference to this Vote—however he might be taunted for saying it—he maintained it was not a matter of compact. No compact existed in the case, and he believed that no compact was ever intended to exist. If they looked to the history of the institution, they found that it originated in 1795; and that the paltry grant then attached to the measure was nothing more than a subscription given on the part of the Government in order to set up and establish the institution, which they had consented and resolved to see established. The great boon which was at that time given to the Irish people did not consist of this paltry grant, but of the power which was then given them to erect places in which they might be able themselves to educate their own priests. That was the boon which was proffered, and was worth accepting. But as for the paltry sum by which it was then accompanied, and which has since been annually given, it was meant merely as an act of benevolence on the part of the Government, to meet the private benevolence of individuals in support of this institution. That was the light in which he viewed the original grant. He was not at all prepared to discontinue that grant; and in voting for its continuance on the same terms on which it now existed, he held that he should vote on an entirely different question from that which was then before the House. That question seemed to be—and it was a question which he felt he should meet on the second reading of the Bill—not whether they should continue the old system of an annual grant by Parliament, but whether they were to change the grant, which was now under the annual control of Parliament, to a fixed and permanent endowment of a Roman Catholic institution. With regard to the increase of the grant, as it was not to remain an annual one, he would lay the question of increase out of sight, and put his opposition at present to the Billon the ground that it made that which was annual, permanent; and that grant also recognised an establishment for the education of the Roman Catholic priesthood of Ireland as an establishment in connexion with the State. He should like to know whether that was the principle on which the Government had acted in other matters? But before he went to that point, he would add also, that another principle of the Bill—and to which he objected—was, that they took this Roman Catholic establishment into connexion with the State, without, at the same time, reserving to the State any control whatsoever over it. Was that—he would ask again—the principle which had been pursued in other matters? Was that the doctrine which had been laid down with great emphasis on the opposite side of the House; and which had been supported with equal emphasis and strength on that side with which he had the honour generally to co-operate? He would say that it was not so; and he stood there before them a living example, as it were, that their doctrines on this point, which on a former occasion were one thing, were on the present occasion exactly the reverse. When he came forward to them about two years ago with a petition and claim of rights from the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, setting forth and claiming certain privileges to which he then believed, and still believed, the Church of Scotland was entitled from Statutes of very ancient date—from the Articles of Union—and by the Treaty by which England bound itself to watch over the welfare of Scotland—when he came to them with that claim and petition in his hand—when he claimed on behalf of the Scottish people, that they should have the management of their own spiritual concerns, independently of the State, and without its interference, he was then told by those now bringing forward and supporting the present measure in relation to Maynooth—it was uttered from that (the Ministerial) side of the House, and echoed from that of the Opposition, that the idea of an establishment existing in connexion with the State, and over which the State had no control, was monstrous and unconstitutional. If that were so in the case of the Protestant Church of Scotland—if, holding to that principle, they brought forth from within the pale of that Church upwards of four hundred of her most active and zealous ministers, and very nearly a million of her most faithful people—if they had refused them permission to carry on the spiritual government of their Church without the interference of the State—upon such grounds how could they come forward now and ask them, the members of the Free Church of Scotland, to support them on public grounds in a measure which had for its object the creation of another establishment in the sister country, over which there was to be no State control? The conduct of the Government in the one case was the very reverse of what it had been in the other. If they were right, on the one hand, on the principle which they now held, what monstrous injustice had they committed on the people of Scotland; if, on the other hand, they were right in dealing with the Church and people of that country as they had dealt with them, how were they now to turn round on themselves, and take a course towards the Church and people of Ireland of the very opposite character? He confessed that he understood such a course of procedure on the part of the Government as little as he understood the advice given by the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir R. Peel) to the Irish country gentlemen. The right hon. Gentleman the other night gave to the Irish Protestant landlords a word of advice, in which he cordially and entirely concurred. But while the right hon. Gentleman was giving that advice to the Irish landlords in the House of Commons, he hoped that it was the intention of the right hon. Gentleman to extend it, as far as his authority gave him power, to other matters; and that whilst he recommended the landlords of Ireland to deal kindly with their Roman Catholic tenants—to give them sites for their chapels, and to contribute to the maintenance of their priests—he would also recommend his own Cabinet to look at home in Scotland, and to cease from persecuting the members of the Free Church there, who lived on the estates of some of the Members of that Cabinet—to cease from persecuting the men who worked for them, and were their tenants, but to whom the right hon. Gentleman's noble Colleague, at that very moment, refused not only a site, which they were ready to buy, in order to erect upon it a church, but refused them even permission to use a corner of a cold moor; and sent them, from want of other and better accommodation, to hold their meetings at a spot where three cross-roads met, where they were unsheltered, during their devotions, from the beating rain, and from the winds of Heaven. When the right hon. Baronet gave such advice as he tendered the other night to the Irish landlords, let him give his Colleague also advice as to how a Protestant and Episcopal landlord should act towards those who, for conscience' sake, had sacrificed so much in Scotland. The name of Canoby was not strange to the Secretary of State for the Home Department. But it had been said that the present measure was, in part, prompted from compassion towards the poverty of Ireland. They were told that the Irish were altogether too poor to throw themselves upon the voluntary principle—too poor to undertake, unaided, the maintenance of establishments for the education of their priesthood. There were seven or eight millions of Catholics in Ireland. He did not know why they should be behind hand with seven or eight or nine hundred thousand, who, without State assistance, supported the Free Church of Scotland. The latter had been entirely thrown upon their own resources, and abandoned to the operation of the voluntary principle—and what had been the result? Within two years they had built about 600 churches, and had raised a sum not far below 700,000l. for various ecclesiastical purposes. No one would tell him that that portion of the population of Scotland which had done all this was by any means the wealthy portion of it. On the contrary, it consisted of the poorer classes, who in this matter had made exertions, prompted by their zeal for the cause which they had at heart, of an extraordinary and praiseworthy character. He was ready to admit that there was no one who had his religion more warmly at heart than the Irish Roman Catholic, and he would urge upon the Catholics of all classes in Ireland, instead of coming to that House for this endowment, to go and follow the example set them by the Scottish Presbyterians. If it were necessary, he would enable them by a still further repeal of the Statute of Mortmain to hold more property than they can at present; but if they followed the example to which he had alluded, they would be far more respected than by coming as Roman Catholics to a Protestant Government and country, and accepting at their hands an endowment for the education of their priesthood, and subsequently a pecuniary and permanent maintenance for those priests themselves. But they had had very extraordinary statements with regard to the condition of the College of Maynooth. The right hon. Baronet the other night had read a statement which certainly struck every body with the greatest horror. It was questionable, however, if that statement was correct. Last year a countryman of his visited that establishment, and gave the result of his inspection to the public — he meant Mr. James Grant. He said that he first of all visited the College, the situation and natural beauties of which he described. He then went on to say,— My two friends and myself went through the whole College. The arrangements appeared to be precisely those most suited to the nature of the institution, and to the purposes for which it was intended. Everything was plain and comfortable. Each of the students had his own sleeping apartment. They are well fed, and comfortably, though plainly clothed. [Mr. Sheil: That is a Scotchman's account.] It was certainly a Scotchman's account. The author was a Scotchman, who seemed to have been received with the readiest hospitality, and who experienced, at the hands of those who had charge of Maynooth, every attention and kindness. Such were the opinions of a Scotchman in reference to the College, although these opinions might not be in unison with those of his right hon. Friend (Mr. Shell); and the author had given these opinions, not in an ill-natured spirit, but candidly, in reference to what he had seen. It was said that this was an act of conciliation towards Ireland, and a boon which would satisfy the Irish people. Now, he for one, did not believe that it was anything of the kind. In the first place, with reference to its being an act of conciliation, it was somewhat extraordinary to put it in that light, because he well recollected the Secretary of State for the Home Department telling them, as he thought, not more than two years ago, that conciliation had reached its highest limit. Had the right hon. Gentleman changed his mind upon that subject, as so many others seemed to have done, in relation to the policy of the Government towards Ireland? It was no act of conciliation. He would say more—it was not received as such. If it were so received, it was no further than in the light of a tribute to Conciliation Hall. It was an act of concession to agitation, and an act of concession coming from the present Government would not be much valued. It always came too late. Why, what was the language held by the leader of the masses in Ireland? Mr. O'Connell totally denied all that they said about its being an act of conciliation. He did not thank them for it farther than for the mere passing of an Act, conceding but a small proportion of what he demanded, but said, that the Irish got that from the Government by the force of agitation, and advised them that perseverance in that course would eventually ensure them all they desired. And yet this, they were told, was to be a final and conciliatory measure. He regarded it as impossible that it could be so; but if they were to conciliate at all, it would be much better to have attempted to conciliate Ireland by adopting some other course than this—a course which would not have roused up the religious feelings of the people of England. The right hon. Gentleman (Sir Robert Peel) said, that he was disposed to do justice to Ireland in the fullest sense of the word. Was there no opportunity afforded him to carry out his laudable purpose, by touching other matters on which the English public might have looked impartially as to their political character, and without lousing those feelings of religious strife which were so obnoxious to all parties? Were there no franchises which might have been extended by the right hon. Gentleman? What had lately become of his zeal, and of the zeal of his noble Friend (Lord Stanley) in another place, touching the Irish Registration? Were there no franchises in Ireland to be accommodated to the English and Scottish franchises. They had eluded that question, which they might have approached with the happiest effects, and which he should have been happy to see them touch with a fair and liberal hand. Were there no other differences between the people of England and Ireland which might have been settled with more case and with better results? Were there no other measures on which the Government might have laid their hands with safety to themselves, and without raising up in the country feelings of religious warfare and hatred? They might have done something beneficial to the Irish peasantry—exposed at present to the tyranny of their landlords. Instead of doing that, they had the misfortune to lay their hands on a question which must lead eventually to the endowment of the Roman Catholics in Ireland. It was in vain for them, like the right hon. Gentleman, to flinch from that as the result of the measure they were now contemplating. He had looked to the right hon. Gentleman for a denial of that as his ultimate intention. He remained perfectly silent, however, upon the point; he knew that the anticipations of the country were but too well founded, and he did not feel himself justified in giving them a contradiction. But from the right hon. Gentlemen opposite—either from the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Home Department, or the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government—they must have some clear and distinct annunciation on this subject, before the present debate was brought to a close. He must say this—that if they were in the one country to follow the course which he had stated, of driving forth a large portion of the community out of the pale of the Establishment, because they insisted there on having no State supervision in spiritual matters, he could not by any possibility see how they were to sanction even in the smallest degree the establishment of another system of religion in a neighbouring country, from which they voluntarily excluded all State interference whatsoever. His opinions as to the establishment of the Roman Catholic religion in Ireland differed, he was sorry to say, from that of many of his hon. and right hon. Friends about him. But he held that this would be a measure, if carried out at the expense of the British public, which would be unjust in the highest degree to the great Dissenting bodies in this country. If they took from the taxation of England and Scotland to endow, he did not care whether it was Roman Catholicism or any other phase of Christianity in Ireland, they would meet with his unqualified opposition. To such a measure he had given his opposition out of the House ten years ago, and would give his opposition to any such measure now. In 1835 it was strongly suspected that the right hon. Gentleman (Sir Robert Peel) had a leaning to grant to Dr. Chalmers, at that time following out his scheme of church extension, a sum of money to further that object. The public opinion of Scotland was excited on the question, and he told him then, and he repeated it now, that out of the public funds of the country he would not consent, for such purposes, to take any grant whatever. On the same principle he would now oppose any grant, such as that proposed by the present measure, as a permanent endowment. He did hope, that whether from the accidental union of parties opposed to this Bill—accidental he called it, for he felt convinced that there was no organized system of co-action amongst them — whether from that circumstance, or from any other, that the attempts made in the House to stop the farther progress of this Bill would be successful. The proposal which Her Majesty's Government had made would not tend at all to allay the agitation in Ireland, but had raised up an agitation in England, which, he was sorry to think, had given rise to feelings of bitterness which no small time would be required to allay.

Viscount Castlereagh

was happy in having the opportunity of rising after his right hon. Friend who had just sat down. He was extremely sorry that they found themselves on different sides of the question. The speech delivered the other night by the right hon. Member for Newark seemed to have affected his right hon. Friend, and it must have caused considerable change in the opinions of those opposed to this Bill. He would endeavour, in the few words which he had to address to the House, to touch on certain points alluded to by his right hon. Friend, and he would assure him that he did so with the very kindest feeling. And with reference to the question itself, he thought that neither the House nor the country had any right to complain about being taken by surprise. He himself, and many friends of his, had been fully prepared for some great alterations being proposed with reference to Ireland. He was astonished, therefore, to find this, the first, of so exceedingly trifling a character. They had discussed this grant for fifty years. For fifty years it had been to them an unceasing cause of squabbling. They had come down to it with various feelings, and had treated it too often as a party question; but the great feature connected with it was this, that the Irish people had never thanked them for their parsimonious grant. They had given to the Irish Catholics an annual appropriation of 9,000l.; but had not this pittance been grudgingly given on the one hand, and thanklessly received on the other. They had done little or no good by their grant, although great things were intended by it. They had now once more given an intimation of their intention to do what good they could — to soften the feelings of six or seven millions of Irish Roman Catholics, and his hope was, that the Government would be successful in its attempt. He would pass by the question of compact. He was glad that the first thing attempted by the measure was the setting at rest a constant source of wrangling and discussion, by rendering the grant a permanent, instead of an annual one. He had voted against the grant, and did so, not because he desired to do anything adverse to the Roman Catholics of Ireland; for the first time that he had opened his mouth in that House was on an occasion when he felt himself called upon to advocate the cause of his Roman Catholic fellow-subjects. There were some who could not, or would not, see what good Catholic emancipation had done for the country. They had not, perhaps it was true, pacified by that measure the Roman Catholics in Ireland. The question to which so many of the Catholic population in that country had now wedded themselves—the repeal question—was not, in his opinion, a religious question. But as to the benefit which they had derived from emancipation, they had united to them the Catholics of England, and could they consider that a small gain? They might depend upon it, that if they had not yet reaped the mature fruits of that measure, the boon which they had thereby conferred upon the Catholics would not be easily forgotten by them, and that sooner or later they would feel all the benefit of a just and generous policy. The people of this country, it was very well known, are peculiarly susceptible and jealous on the subject of what they might designate the "No Popery" cry. The schism which had taken place, lamentable as it was to see in their own Church, was sufficient proof of this, without recurring to the petitions which were now pouring into the House; and the numerous meetings which were being held everywhere throughout the country, as evidence of the feeling of the English people against the measure now before the House. But he would maintain, that it was the duty of a wise Government to hold the balance between conflicting opinions—to temper the vehemence of popular feeling, to take their own line, and to lay a broad foundation of justice on which to build a superstructure of good government. They must not yield to the pressure from without. Had that been their course, they would have yielded long ago to the Anti-Corn Law League. Had they yielded to the pressure from without, they would not have resisted the Repeal agitation, to which the people of Ireland had given too much of their time and their attention. It was, he would repeat, the duty of a good and a wise Government to hold a just balance between conflicting opinions. Without disregarding the opinions delivered out of doors, they should carry their measures through the House by the independent and honest support of those who would back them if they deemed them right. There were many honest and conscientious men, pursuing a consistent course, who had always opposed everything in the shape of concession to the Roman Catholics. He believed there was something inherent in the very nature of these men, which made them constitutionally afraid of Popery. He suspected that no experience—not even the experience of twenty years — not even the evidence of Irishmen who had as large a stake in the country as others had, and who were ready to give their opinion on the subject as conscientiously as they would in a court of justice—would have any weight with such men. He had received, about three days ago, a requisition signed by nearly every gentleman of property, influence, and standing in the great and influential county—the county of Down — which he had the honour to represent in Parliament. That requisition was signed by many who ranked amongst his earliest and best friends, and by many of his own relatives. They entreated him to give his decided and vigorous opposition to the Bill of the right hon. Gentleman; and in a letter which he had just received from a relative of his, that measure was characterized as one likely to bring down a national judgment upon us. To these he had returned no answer, preferring that his answer to them should be given from his place in that House. He had a duty to perform in that House, irrespective of all considerations but what his own sense of duty prompted him to. If his constituents should think that he had done wrong in the course he had taken, it was for them to visit the consequences upon him; but, whatever might be the result, he should, at all events, have the satisfaction of knowing that he had done his duty and acted up to his convictions. He deeply regretted the agitation which had sprung up on this question. There were some great names at the head of that agitation. Exeter Hall was once again in the throes of childbirth. From that place were ready again to issue forth those great and redoubtable champions of Protestantism, who, with their old armour furbished up, and shouldering their unwieldy swords, were prepared to go in procession about the streets, with glittering banners and biblical inscriptions, provoking polemical contest, and crying on the Protestantism of England to come to the rescue—and for what? Because they were about to give a small donation, a few pounds he might call it—because they were simply about to grant a small sum, honourable to those whose feelings prompted it, to the Roman Catholic College at Maynooth. It was not his intention to enter into a theological discussion as to the doctrines entertained and inculcated at that institution. He would not attempt on the floor of that House to grope his way through class books, and criticise Peter Dens. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government had been the recipient of no small quantity of abuse for the measure which he had had the manliness to bring forward. He had heard of, and was sorry to hear it, indeed he had himself witnessed the first alliance and flirtation between the hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford (Sir R. H. Inglis), and the Representative of the chivalry of his party and the beauty of Young England. He was doubly sorry to find that the marriage was since consummated. Of that union he did not think there would be any fruit; the best they could look for would be spawn. Such an alliance had caused him the deepest regret, because he had hoped that the young chivalry of England would not have arrayed itself against his own green isle on a question of so momentous a character as was this. He had hoped, at all events, that the talents, the energy, the caustic and sarcastic remarks, and the brilliant oratory of the hon. Member for Shrewsbury (Mr. Disraeli), who, he regretted, was not then in his place, would not have been arrayed on the wrong side on such an occasion as the present. He wished that that hon. Gentleman had been with them instead of against them. He could not help thinking the hon. Member very far wrong in talking of the bleak shade which had been cast across Catholic Emancipation by the right hon. Baronet. He could tell the hon. Gentleman that, without that shade, Catholic Emancipation would never have been carried. They owed that great measure to the right hon. Baronet, and to his great coadjutor, then, as now, in the House of Lords. He, as an Irishman, regretted to hear such epithets heaped upon, and such insinuations charged against, the right hon. Baronet. He could not help thinking that there must have been some fatal remembrance, some deep sorrow, which came across the mind of the hon. Gentleman when he used those words. He did not see the hon. Member for Cork in his place. But there always was an opinion—whether well or ill founded, the opinion always existed—that Lord Melbourne's Government was more or less under the dictation of, and more or less subservient to Mr. O'Connell. He did not say that this was so. He did not think this could have carried the Dissenters' Chapel Bill, had Mr. O'Connell been in the House. Hon. Members on the opposite side might say, as they had said, that they looked with distrust upon measures coming from this (the Ministerial) side of the House. Then the hon. Members who said so could not wonder when he told them that he, and others like him, looked with suspicion upon measures that came from those sitting on the opposite side of the House; because they believed that such measures were not proposed for the purposes of concession or conciliation, but under the dictation of Mr. O'Connell. He had troubled the House at great length; he thanked hon. Members for the patience with which they had heard him; but he felt on this matter as an Irish Member, and he had so desired to speak his sentiments. He must conclude by saying that he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would go on in the career that he had now adopted, that he would do so indifferent as to the attacks that might be made on him, careless of the vituperation that might be pronounced against him, and regardless of the defection of parties that might abandon him; and even supposing the right hon. Gentleman might be left in a minority, he said still to him "persevere," for he was convinced that the country would sustain him in his fall, and that there were in that House Members, like him who now addressed them, ready to support the right hon. Gentleman in his measures whether he was sitting on this or the other side of the House. There had recently been published a pamphlet, written by one who was well known in that House. He would conclude by reading a passage from it, because he thought it extremely well written, and because it expressed his sentiments in language much better than he could command. The words were these,— It would be over sanguine to expect that Ireland should be at once and completely incorporated in reeling, as well as in law, with the rest of the Empire. All that we can do, is to lay the foundation—foundations broad and deep—on which a superstructure of conciliation and union may gradually be built. It is not to be doubted that he would have innumerable difficulties to encounter—that he would be assailed by obloquy and calumny and clamour, and that he would risk the disruption of political connexions, and probably shake the security of his Ministerial power. But what are all these, compared with the consciousness of a great duty, ably and honestly performed, the consummation of which would engage the sympathy of all that is wise and good in the whole civilized world, and be attended with that enduring fame which crowns the benefactors of mankind.

The O'Conor Don

concurred so cordially in the truth, the justice, and the appropriateness of the sentiments quoted by the noble Lord, that he had taken down the same pamphlet to which he referred, with the intention of quoting exactly the same passage from it. If this were a mere Irish question, and to be decided by the votes and wishes of the Irish people, he believed that a great majority of them would give their approval to the measure now proposed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tamworth. He was, he must own, extremely anxious to rise, and answer the question that had been put to the Irish Members upon this subject by the hon. Member for Shrewsbury (Mr. Disraeli). That hon. Gentleman had called upon them to repudiate the measures of the right hon. Baronet, as unworthy of their acceptance. Now, as a Roman Ctholic, and as an Irish Member, so far was he from concurring in the opinion or the views of the hon. Member for Shrewsbury, that he said he was prepared cordially and gratefully to accept the proposition of the right hon. Baronet, as one that was valuable in itself, but that was still more valuable from the manner in which it had been tendered to the House. When the right hon. Gentleman proposed this measure to the House, he said that it was to be met and disposed of in one of three ways. The proposition so put, the hon. Member for Shrewsbury had encountered with a ridicule and sarcasm, in which in his judgment, the hon. Member was too conversant, whilst at the same time the hon. Member did not in the remotest manner venture to grapple with it. Two or three times in the course of his speech the hon. Gentleman said, "This is the question;" but the real question was totally evaded by him. Now, he said, "The question is this—what is to be done with Maynooth? Was the grant to be discontinued? Was the grant to be continued as it is now given, or was it to be increased?" Thus it was that the question had been fairly put by the right hon. Gentleman, and that question ought to be fairly answered. Was the grant to be discontinued? Under the present circumstances and in the present state of Ireland, where there existed a certain amount at least of dissatisfaction, were they prepared—was any Government prepared to add to the elements of discontent another motive, and a new cause for dissatisfaction? As to the continuance of the grant, there could be no doubt that if the right hon. Gentleman came down with the usual annual vote, that with the exception of the small minority who were found to raise their voices against it, that it would be carried. As to any serious opposition to it, every one who knew the constitution of the House must be perfectly aware that it was not to be thought of. Then as to an increase of the grant. It was said that there was a principle involved in it. What was the principle involved against the grant? In what did it consist? It appeared to him to be a principle against a grant that would give an adequate education; but there was no principle affected if they only gave 8,000l. a year. Surely, the principle was the same, whatever was the sum granted, whether it was 8,000l. or 25,000l. Then it was said there was a principle involved in not increasing the grant; why the grant had been increased in 1808. The House at that time proposed an increase; and no one could accuse the Government of that day, nor the Parliament that supported them, with not being peculiarly Protestant. If the principle were bad when applied to Ireland, how came it to be recognised in all the British Colonies? He could, from the pamphlet that had been already referred to, cite all the Colonies, and show the amount that was paid to the Roman Catholic clergy throughout the whole extent of Her Majesty's dominions. Was, then, the principle to be objected to only when Ireland was concerned? As to the grant itself, there could not be a single shadow of doubt, that the grant hitherto given was not adequate to the purposes for which it was intended. The right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government had shown its utter inadequacy. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Perth had read an extract from the work of a gentleman who had visited Maynooth, and, who having been treated there hospitably, fancied that the gentlemen he met must be in the enjoyment of every comfort. Look, he said, in reply to such a description as that, to the amount paid for the support of the College: let them then calculate the number of students in the College, and then see whether the professors could receive an adequate remuneration — whether such a remuneration could be given to men to induce them to devote their lives to the instruction of youth—whether such a sum as 93l. a year was that which ought to be conferred on men of profound learning, of extensive knowledge, of great abilities, and of high standing? Amongst those most clamorous against the present grant were Dissenters, who professed an objection to all establishments—who declared themselves opposed to the State paying for the support of any religion. This was very proper; but how did it happen that their indignation was only shown when money was proposed for the education of a Catholic priesthood? Why, if they felt so strongly on this subject, did they not carry out their principle year after year? Why let it rest? Why pause upon it? Why was it only to be excited when the principle to which they were opposed was to be applied in the case of Ireland? He regretted this exhibition of hostility, for he would like to see feelings of amity prevail amongst all classes of Her Majesty's subjects. It was not a subject of consideration—a junction between the Roman Catholic Church and the State. He believed the Roman Catholics themselves would object to it; but then they had no objection to the establishment of a College which would enable their clergy to prepare themselves for the duties they had to perform, and the proper performance of which must be of advantage to the country. The hon. Member for Newcastle (Mr. Colquhoun) had made a speech on this subject. He seemed to object to the granting anything to Maynooth. He said that persons were not educated there; that the professors were incompetent to teach; and that one of these, the professor of mathematics, had, in answer to a question, said, he had never heard of the Sixth Book of Euclid. Now, he (the O'Conor Don) said that any more monstrous misrepresentation than that had never been ventured upon in that House; for if the hon. Member had looked to the next question, he would have found Dr. Callan stating that his pupils might not know what were the propositions in the Sixth Book, because the system of mathematics taught was that of the Abbé Daré, founded on the principles of French mathematicians of the highest eminence. So far too was the gentleman who was thus assailed from being the ignorant person that the hon. Member had described him, that he was one of the most distinguished contributors to the Philosophical Journal. This man, so vilified, was most eminent by his knowledge, and by the valuable discoveries he had made in galvanism and electricity. This gentleman, described as ignorant, was one whose home was known to every mathematical instrument maker in London, and even instruments were to be found in every shop that dealt in such articles bearing his name. This gentleman, who had been spoken of in so depreciating a manner by the hon. Member for Newcastle, was the author of a system of geometry which had gone through more than one edition. The books that were used in Maynooth had been commented upon by the hon. Member for Dublin (Mr. Grogan), and he had also occupied much of their time in reading decrees and bulls of the Popes. His answer to this was, that no matter as to those bulls, or what was contained in them, they were of no validity in temporal or civil matters. He said this not merely in reference to the present, but to the time of Queen Elizabeth; and when the Armada was preparing to invade the shores of England, and, notwithstanding the bull of the Pope prohibiting any aid being given to her, still the Roman Catholics offered to take their place in the foremost ranks, and to oppose the enemies of their "beloved Queen," as they called her. If such then was the case, why was the time of the House to be wasted in reading decrees and bulls, which had not the slightest reference to temporal matters? It had been said, that Her Majesty was going this year to Ireland. He hoped that it might be the case. In England Her Majesty had her usual residence. Scotland had had the advantage of seeing the Sovereign within its precincts; and if Her Majesty's visit to Ireland had been postponed, he said this confidently, that no matter how warmly or how glowing might have been the display of loyalty yet exhibited, it would be far exceeded by the enthusiasm and the devoted loyalty of the Irish in beholding Her Majesty. That was his firm conviction. The Irish were, and ever had been, truly, generously loyal. With them loyalty to the Queen was a passion. That loyalty could be cemented by acts of grace; and it was well that such acts should come from Ministers; not that they should wait until they were pressed upon them. But, hon. Members who now opposed this measure, said to the right hon. Baronet that he had postponed the concession of the Catholic question so long that it was not regarded as a boon, but as a thing granted from necessity; whilst others said, why did he not wait—why not postpone, until a measure like this was forced upon him? It was impossible to answer such arguments; for each furnished a reply to the other. He did hope the right hon. Baronet would pursue his present course. He was, he must say, happy to see the noble Lord the Member for London, above all party feeling, on the one hand, and the right hon. Baronet on the other, both concurring in carrying out a measure of justice towards that country, which never yet was forgetful of a benefit conferred. To both sides of the House he felt grateful for supporting such a measure.

Mr. Lefroy

, after the mild and temperate language in which the hon. Member who had just sat down had conveyed his views to the House, felt that he rose under some disadvantage to express an opposite opinion. He trusted that in what he said he should give no offence to the hon. Member, or to any one else, either in or out of that House; but he felt the more anxious to explain the motives which influenced his conduct on this measure, because it was proposed on the responsibility of a Government, to the measures of which he generally gave his cordial support, and because the right hon. Baronet had slated his intention of carrying it through Parliament in opposition to the sentiments of the country, which had been so clearly expressed. It would be a waste of time to consider the plans which had been adverted to by the right hon. Baronet on introducing this measure, but which he had not called upon them to adopt: they had now simply to consider whether they were prepared to support the grant which had been proposed for the education of Roman Catholic priests at Maynooth; and the supporters of that proposal rested upon two grounds—contract and expediency. As to the former, it seemed to be generally allowed that it had no great weight; and he agreed with the right hon. Gentleman the late President of the Board of Trade, that if that argument applied to the case of the old grant, it could not be applied to a new case, of a large permanent endowment connecting the College with the State, instead of a small annual grant. Then as to the ground of expediency, if ever there was a case in which that ground ought to be confined within the narrowest limits it was the present—an occasion in which there was much to wound the feelings and hurt the prejudices of those who objected to the measure on religious grounds. The argument of the right hon. Baronet on this subject was rather strange; he said, "A certain small grant has hitherto been made, and the system has confessedly worked badly; but the system having worked badly, I propose, without at all interfering with the management of the institution, so as to secure its good working in future, a large additional grant, and I think the effect will be to produce good-will and order in the priesthood." Now he entirely differed from the right hon. Baronet as to the probable effects of the measure; but, setting his own opinion apart, and regarding only the argument of the right hon. Baronet, he could not help saying, when he recollected the convincing force of argument which the ability of the right hon. Baronet applied on almost all other questions, that the absence of that force proved the weakness of his cause. The objections which had already been urged to this proposal seemed to him small, compared to those which he entertained. He objected to it on two grounds: but also on the ground that it was an interference with the theory and practice of the present Constitution of this country. As to the first ground, he would not introduce in that House any discussion on religious subjects; and he thought that hon. Members who took that view of the subject had been unfairly taunted with not bringing that ground of objection distinctly before the House. He had no doubt that many hon. Members, as well as himself, would avoid that ground of discussion on account of the painful feelings which it was calculated to excite; but on the other ground, so long as the Sovereign of these realms was obliged to take the coronation oath on ascending the Throne, so long as a similar oath was administered to Members of Parliament, was it, he would ask, consistent with the principles of our Constitution, that they should endow a Church, for it was idle to talk of educating a priesthood and then turning them adrift—as the natural consequence of the measure now propose the endowment of the Church must follow—was it consistent, he would ask, whilst the Constitution of this country remained on its present footing, that they should be called upon to educate a priesthood in doctrines which, to use the mildest language, were by that very Constitution declared to be altogether erroneous? He had certainly been much surprised by the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman the late President of the Board of Trade; that right hon. Gentleman had thrown overboard the arguments of the right hon. Baronet; had commented upon those of the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool in terms which seemed even to him harsh; and had expressed his prepossessions against the measure; but to what conclusion had the right hon. Gentleman come? Notwithstanding his prepossessions and convictions, formerly expressed in no measured terms, the right hon. Gentleman had come to the conclusion of supporting the present proposal; and that, although his deliberate opinion had been formerly declared in these words—"In principle this system is wholly vicious (speaking of Maynooth), and it will be a thorn in the side of the State of this country as long as it continues." But the right hon. Gentleman appeared to have come to his new conclusion on the ground of expediency; it was for the sake of unity that be supported the measure; but the right hon. Gentleman should recollect that unity might frequency produce indifference to religion; and, at all events, he could not consider it an object of very great value and importance. He trusted that he had not expressed any sentiments which could give offence to any one; he had only stated his conscientious opinions. He rested his opposition to the Bill not only upon religious grounds, but upon its interference with the practice of the constitution. That practice might be changed; the Government might propose to alter it; and then, but not till then, they might consistently come forward and ask Parliament to endow the College of Maynooth, and make the Roman Catholic Church a part of the establishments of the land. It had been said that they ought not to ally themselves with the Dissenters on this subject; but he could not understand the force of that objection: they had only to answer the question whether they could support the proposal of the Government. He felt the full force of the objections which had been stated by the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Fox Maule) with respect to the case of the Scotch Church; it certainly was very hard that the members of that Church should, on the present occasion, be called upon to vote for the education of Roman Catholic priests in Ireland a much larger sum than they had ever, though always unsuccessfully, asked for their own Church. Upon those grounds, and under those circumstances, he should feel it his duty to oppose the Motion.

Colonel T. Wood

did not justify the vote which he intended to give, either upon the ground of contract or of expediency. As to the religious grounds upon which this measure was opposed, he could only say that he had no religious scruples on the subject; he saw nothing in the articles of the Christian faith, nothing in the Holy Scriptures, nothing in the Liturgy of the Church of England, which forbade his considering the question, and voting even an ample grant for the education of the spiritual instruction of his Roman Catholic fellow countrymen. The argument, founded upon our Protestant Constitution, might have had some application previously to the passing of the Emancipation Act; but since that time every subject of this country stood upon an equal footing as to all civil rights; it was true that the possession of the Throne was limited to the Protestant successors of Her Majesty; but, whilst the Queen upheld the Protestant Church, she ruled over 7,000,000 of Roman Catholic subjects. Not only should he most anxiously support the present proposal, but he hoped that the feelings of that country and the circumstances of Ireland would enable them to follow it with other measures, which he considered the natural consequences of the present—and which, he trusted, would tend to the permanent union of the two countries. He grounded his support of the measure on its general justice: it was, in his judgment, abstractly just that they should provide for the education of the Irish priesthood, if they considered merely that they were the spiritual instructors of 7,000,000 of their fellow subjects; but when they considered further the circumstances of that country—the absentee proprietors—the rent charges wholly devoted to the payment of a clergy, who, however eminent, were not the pastors of the people of that country—it certainly was most just that the whole country generally should provide for the education of the Roman Catholic priesthood; nor was the condition of the Roman Catholic population unworthy of consideration. They were, perhaps, the poorest of the human race; Reports on the Table of the House slated that 2,000,000 were in a state of pauperism, whilst the middle classes scarcely possessed the most ordinary comforts of life; and if the country did not make this provision, a small pittance for the education of their priests would be wrung from the hands of that miserable population. He grounded his vote, therefore, not only upon the justice but the paramount necessity of such a measure. It was only the natural consequence of the Act of last Session, the Charitable Bequests Act; and even if it led to the consequence of the permanent endowment of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, such a measure should have his cordial support; because he believed that it would promote the peace and welfare of the country. What had been the state of Ireland, even since the present Administration came into office? The state of Ireland in 1842 and 1843 was unparalleled in the history of this country; great bodies of men assembled in numbers, unknown before to anything but military organization, and he regretted to say attended and encouraged by many of the priests. It was not the violence of the speeches delivered upon those occasions which caused his apprehensions; it was the impression produced on the public mind in Ireland that a repeal of the Union was at hand; and he should endeavour, so far as he could, by his vote to avert so frightful a calamity. They, however, met with opposition from various parts of that House; and he would beg to ask those hon. Members, what was their alternative? What was then expedient? How did they propose to meet agitation in Ireland? By a coercion Bill and martial law? That was the only alternative; and he shrunk from the consequences of any such measures. They might succeed for a day; but when they had succeeded, no greater advance would have been made than when they began; they would at last be obliged to resort to conciliatory measures, and they might have inflicted a wound beyond their power to heal. It was painful to him to differ from many of his most influential supporters: but if that difference should lead to the pacification of Ireland, he should esteem it, and whatever consequences it might entail upon him, as light indeed. It was not, however, unimportant to inquire whether, in the course he pursued, he was departing from the path of public honour and political consistency? The only obligations which he had incurred to his constituents at the elections of 1835 and 1838, turned upon the maintenance of the Church property; and if he thought that the present proposal invaded that integrity, or deprived him of any argument in favour of its maintenance, he should at once place in the hands of his constituents the trust they had reposed in him; but he could not see how this measure, even in its most remote consequences, could invalidate the title of the Irish Church to her property, or weaken him in the defence of it—he could not see how the increase of this grant could whet, the cupidity of the Roman Catholics in assailing that property—he could not see why, to place the Roman Catholic clergy on a better footing—or even on a footing of equality with the Protestant clergy, could be the means of increasing their hostility to the Protestant Church. Was Ireland to be the only country in which the two churches could not exist in harmony? Was everything given to the Roman Catholics for ever to be regarded as a subtraction and derogation from the Protestants? In other countries of Europe the two churches existed together in harmony; and was it not the duty of the Legislature to bring; about the same desirable result in Ireland? One hon. Member had said that they were arming the Roman Catholic Church with another weapon to assail the Protestant Church; but surely there was another enemy against whom it might direct its assault; let the Roman Catholic Church war against crime and vice, and the benefits of this measure could not be exaggerated. Upon these grounds of justice and necessity, and not thinking that he was invalidating the title by which the Protestant Church was established, he gave his hearty concurrence to the Motion.

Sir C. Napier

would not have taken any part in the debate, but that he was anxious to explain to his constituents the grounds upon which he intended, under all the circumstances of the case, to vote in favour of the increased grant, as proposed by the right hon. Baronet. He regretted that his hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield (Mr. Ward) had not had an opportunity of taking a clear vote on his proposition on the second reading of the Bill, for he understood that, had he done so, the hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford, and his Friends, intended to have supported him in a measure much more obnoxious in their eyes than that of the Government, with the view of throwing out the latter altogether. Under the circumstances, however, he thought his hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield had taken a wise and discreet course in disappointing the hon. Baronet and his Friends in that intention; and he hoped his hon. Friend, when he brought forward his Motion, would do it in such a way as not to enable hon. Gentlemen opposite to make it the means of throwing over altogether the Government measure. He (Sir C. Napier) had purposed bringing forward a more moderate form of amendment should his hon. Friend fail in carrying his; but he was sorry to find that the forms of the House would not permit him to do so. The Amendment he wished to propose was,— That it be an instruction to the Committee on the Bill to prepare a Clause or Clauses to provide that in any Protestant parishes where there were less than four or five communicants, the ecclesiastical revenues of that parish should be applied, in case of the charge on the Consolidated Fund, for the better support of the College of Maynooth, which it was intended to make by the present Bill. He regretted that he should not have the opportunity of putting this Amendment; as it was, he should, supposing his hon. Friend's Amendment should fail, give his support to the Government measure. He was aware that in so doing he should give offence to many of his constituents who felt strongly on this question; but though his interest should be compromised, he should feel it to be his duty to support the Government in what he felt to be a fair, a just, and an honourable course. He did not mean to say that there was any probability of a war with America or any other Power; but looking at the present state of Ireland, and at the bare possibility of a war with America, was this, he would ask, a proper time to throw a firebrand into Ireland by rejecting the measure? Every Irish Member—every hon. Member—must be aware that the measure having been once brought forward by the right hon. Baronet—he would not say whether wisely or not—if it were now to be rejected by the House, it would place Ireland in a worse position than ever she was in before. This was no time for furnishing the Repealers with weapons—this was no, time to excite discontent and disaffection in the minds of the Irish people. The true policy was to do all we could to bind Ireland to this country in the bonds of interest and affection, in order that we might be able to depend upon her supporting us and herself whenever the occasion for that support should arise. He was not the man to encourage—by anything he said—continental and Catholic nations to throw a large force into Catholic Ireland—should a war unfortunately take place—to fight against England. But the hon. Baronet and his Friends ought to beware of what they did at this moment—they ought not to push things to extremities. The hon. Baronet ought to deliberate well upon what he was doing; for if the Irish people were not conciliated in time of peace, they would not be likely to remain quiet, and, in the event of a war, he would find that he had raised a storm in that country most dangerous to us. The hon. Gentleman must not forget what had been done in former times; he must not forget that French fleets had been sent to all parts of the world; that during the last war France had succeeded—notwithstanding the vigilance of a Nelson—in throwing a large force into Egypt, and that all we could do was to endeavour to protect our own shores. They all knew that Bonaparte intended, and made every preparation, to invade England in 1805, and would have succeeded in his object in all probability had it not been for the disobedience of orders of one of his admirals [Cries of "Oh."] Hon. Gentlemen must allow him to argue his case in his own way, and this was the way in which the matter pressed itself most forcibly upon his mind. They had seen the danger we had incurred in former times, and it was his wish, by enlisting the sympathies and affections of all parts of the Empire, as well as by providing efficient means of defence, to guard against the recurrence of those dangers. If Ireland remained disaffected, and a war were to break out with France, see the means she had of throwing a large force into that country. Look at the immense steam navy France now possessed. It was only to-day that he had read in a French newspaper the announcement that the large steam ships built for the French transatlantic navigation were found to be unfit for that service, and were at once to be converted into vessels of war. The fact was, they were never intended for the transatlantic navigation; the whole affair was a blind from the beginning. Those vessels were capable of containing 2,000 men each, and might be equipped and made efficient at any moment. As he had said, he did not apprehend a war; but could anything be more likely to induce foreign nations to go to war with us than the knowledge that one-third of the Empire was severed from, this country in feelings and wishes, and generally opposed to us. But if he could not excite the fears of hon. Gentlemen who opposed this Bill, he would appeal to them on the grounds of justice. The Catholic population of Ireland were now compelled to support a Church with which they were not in connexion, and to that Church, notwithstanding that it was the Church of a very small minority of the whole people, the whole of the ecclesiastical revenues of the country were devoted. But it was contended that the principle ought not to be admitted of supporting the Catholic religion; but already there was a vote passed annually of 8,000l. for this College of Maynooth. Therefore, so far as the point of principle was concerned, they had already established the principle of voting money to educate the Roman Catholic priesthood. That principle had existed for many years, certainly protested against on every possible opportunity by the hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford; but it had nevertheless existed, consequently there could be no deviation from principle in increasing the grant, with the view of affording the persons educated at this College a good instead of a bad education. He was somewhat surprised at the opposition of the hon. Member for Oxford and others, whose object it was to extend what they considered the true religion, to the proposal for affording to the Maynooth students a better education than they could now obtain there, because it was much more easy for men who were liberally and properly educated to see the true light of the Gospel and embrace it, than for those whose education was neglected and whose prejudices remained. He knew that there were some people who took a different view, and said if you give the Roman Catholic priesthood a better education, you will make them more strong in their own faith. But suppose it was so, did they suppose that the priest would be a more useful member of society, or possess a more beneficial influence over the people—or did they suppose the feelings of the people would be less Catholic if they continued to give them instead of an education only a part of an education? They had tried for 300 years to make Ireland Protestant—had they succeeded? And if not, why go on doggedly with the same system? He was happy to see the Government was at length adopting the principles of that (the Opposition) side of the House; he wished not to taunt them on that account; on the contrary, he thought they were entitled to credit and praise for so doing, and while they continued in that course he should give them his best and strongest support.

Mr. Stafford O'Brien

thought the hon. and gallant Member who last spoke had in one part of his speech contradicted the other. First, he said the extension of the grant was not the assertion of a new principle; and then he said, "You have tried for 300 years to Protestantise Ireland, and failed — why then continue doggedly to follow out the same system?" If the principle were not a new one, there would have been no occasion for that appeal. The hon. Member for Lambeth had asked the Government whether this measure would be followed out by others of a similar character; but his right hon. Friend the Secretary for Ireland—who he could not say replied to, but followed, the hon. Member in the debate — had given them no information upon that point, especially in reference to the great question of the endowment of the Roman Catholic clergy. Now, he ventured again to press that question distinctly on the attention of the Government, and should be compelled to conclude, especially after the speech of the right hon. Member for Newark (Mr. Gladstone), that if they avoided or eluded it—and he believed the House and the country would conclude also in the case—that they did intend to follow up the present measure with an Act for the endowment of Roman Catholics. If such was the intention of the right hon. Baronet, seeing that he had taken credit for not taking the House by surprise in regard to the present Bill, he trusted that he would earn for himself the same credit at the end of this and the beginning of next Session of Parliament, or whenever he should bring forward such a measure by declaring at once not only that he did intend to pay the Roman Catholic clergy, but also out of what fund, and subject to what conditions that payment was to be made. That question being, however, up to this time unanswered, he would proceed to consider the grant now proposed in two points of view. First, as an isolated measure; and, secondly, as one of a series. If it were to be looked upon as an isolated measure, he must say, that in his opinion it would confer anything but a boon on the Roman Catholic clergy; for if in the University they were accustomed to and fitted for the luxuries of life, which they could not hope afterwards to enjoy, it would be anything but a benefit to them. It was no disgrace to a young Irishman if, going to Maynooth with the habits of a peasant, he left it afterwards with those habits but slightly modified. Those habits were compatible with the highest piety—the most exalted attainments, and the soundest wisdom; but the worst education was that which was attended with the damning evil of rendering its pupils unfit for the situation they must afterwards hold in society. Then as to the second view of the question—and after what they had heard, they might, he thought, take this as essentially the one in which it should be discussed—viz., taking the measure as the first of not only a series of other similar, but of larger measures in reference to the same subject, he would proceed to state the reasons why he felt it his duty to negative the proposition. It had been said by an hon. Gentleman, in the course of the debate, that practically this was a measure for the endowment of the Roman Catholic College of Maynooth. The main reason why he (Mr. S. O'Brien) felt compelled to vote against the Bill was, that he saw he must take it in connexion with the endowment of the Roman Catholic religion; and he did not conscientiously consider that the party, to support which he was returned to Parliament, had any right to enter into that question. ["Oh, oh."] He was aware that his right hon. Friend the Member for Newark and his hon. Friend the Member for Devon differed with him; but he said this not as judging them, but as defending himself. He attributed to them none but the highest motives as influencing them in the course they had adopted; and he hoped they would do the same justice to him. If they took the principle of representation as he took it to be—that of sending a man to do for him in the complex task of legislation and government, that which either his habits or business did not make it convenient for him to do for himself—if that theory was good, he had a right, in discussing this or any other question, to consider what might have passed between him and his constituents in reference to his election. But that theory must be largely modified by a recollection of the two great parties into which this political community had very wisely, as he thought, on the whole, divided itself. He said wisely, though he was aware, at the same time, it was an arrangement which must be attended with many difficulties. And he also maintained that, at his election, he had a right, nay, was compelled, to look so far into the historical annals of his party, and the course that party had taken in former years, as to enable him to consider fairly the main political principles by which it had been guided during the experience of the mass of those by whom he was sent to Parliament. It was true the party, to support which he had been returned, had changed its name. They had taken the name of Conservatives in lieu of Tories, and he did not see that they had derived any advantage from that change. But whatever the reason—whatever the advantage of the change, it was accompanied by one inconvenience at least. They could not but remember that now the whole history of the Conservative or Tory party was to be found in pamphlets, and not in books to be read in the reading room rather than in the library; and therefore he said they had a right to look to the records of the past. And when he looked to the course of that party for the last ten years, beginning with the Appropriation Clause, and called to his mind all the battles that had been fought about municipal corporations in Ireland—a subject which for so long a time was chosen as the battle ground of that party — when he remembered the terms in which it had spoken, and justly spoken, of what was called the Lichfieldhouse compact and alliance, when he looked back upon all this, he must say that the proposition for the extension of ecclesiastical Romanism in Ireland, brought forward by that party, was, after every allowance was made for individual violence, individual caution, individual palliatives, and individual explanations, a most extraordinary one. He had always considered that a resistance to the extension of the endowment of ecclesiastical Romanism was one of the main instruments and the main engines with which that party had worked in Opposition for the last ten years. In pursuing that course they might have been right, or they might have been wrong, but he was here not to consider that question, but to look to the particular position in which that course of opposition had placed the party to which he belonged. More than one hon. Gentleman had stated that so far as regarded the question before the House, he must oppose his constituents, that he would do so with regret, but that he must act conscientiously and sincerely. There was no one more anxious to do so than himself. But as the hon. Member for Newark had said England was against the measure, Scotland was against it, and he might add that the province of Ulster was against it. If this, then, were a House of Representatives—if they retained any recollection of the past—of the principles to which they had pledged themselves—he asked whether he might not be excused for refusing to lend his consent to such a measure? He would ask whether any Member of the Government—whether any hon. Gentleman sitting on the Ministerial side of the House—would get up and assure him, that had the noble Lord the Member for the City of London brought forward this same proposition, this very Bill, word for word, when they were upon the Opposition side of the House, and he was in office, could any hon. Members on the Ministerial side to-night say that, under these circumstances, they would have supported the measure? Had they, too, gone to the hustings with this Bill, or the slightest inkling of this Bill, and the course they would take upon it known to the country, did any one believe that they would have come back the great majority they had? He repudiated the idea of any hostility to Ireland in the opposition he would offer to the Bill. Were it passed, and were they to return to their constituents, and be by them again sent back to serve under the same Government, the position of the party would indeed be morally and politically changed; and whatever other arguments he might have to oppose to the measure, he would certainly not be able to urge the dissent of his constituents. But the principles generally advocated, and the course generally adopted by the party to which he was attached, were quite at variance with those principles they were now invited to profess, and the course they were now invited to pursue. There were recollections of the party on his side of the House, such as rendered the support of the grant by hon. Members who occupied it a course of which he could not approve. Nothing could have been more varied than the arguments adduced in favour of the proposition; but as there appeared, therefore, many reasons for supporting the Bill, he hoped that it would be allowed that there were as many for opposing it. This he did say, that he had a right to claim from those to whom he might be opposed in Ireland credit for just as much anxiety for their welfare as if he found himself upon their side. For this was a time at which, in his opinion, they could not safely approach the consideration of such a question as the present. They must look, let it be observed, not merely to the question itself, but to the time at which, and to the circumstances under which it was brought forward. He did not wish to underrate the great difficulties under which they laboured; and he admitted that the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Cabinet was personally the least liable to a charge of inconsistency. But when he looked to the measure as brought forward by the head of a great party—when he remembered how that party had acted—under what colours it had fought and ultimately triumphed, he must say that he could not give it his support without lending himself to the support of a system which tended to shake public confidence in public men. And the diminution of this confidence was one of the most serious evils which could befall a State. At present a feeling of distrust of public men was springing up, which was extending itself to distrust of the House, and he would not be a party to any course likely to increase it. The voice of the Protestantism of England was against the grant—that voice which, in Opposition, they had never attempted to regulate or subdue. Protestantism they ought to treat as an essential part of a great people, and they ought to recognise their danger as a party in tampering with it, and the danger, too, which such a course would bring upon all the best Institutions of the State. If this Protestantism be ignorant or bigoted, their aim should be to educate and to free it. But, with all its faults, its stern truths and rigid integrity were undeniable; and no mistake could be more miserable than that of imagining that its convictions could be shaken or its affections won by a seeming dereliction of all claims to those attributes of which it was so justly proud.

Mr. C. W. Wynn

expressed his surprise at the view of the present question taken by the hon. Member who last addressed the House. The hon. Member seemed to consider the matter now under discussion not as one which regarded the great interests of justice and humanity, but as one in which he and those who thought with him ought to take the course most consonant with the interests of party, and what he supposed to be their character for consistency. The hon. Member also surprised him by the regret which he seemed to feel for the loss of the old names of Whig and Tory; and at the same time to complain of the adoption of such an appellation as that of Conservative. He (Mr. Wynn) never had been a Tory; and the experience of fifty years of public life had convinced him that the designations of Whig and Tory were not only extinct, but could not be revived. But, assuming that there was in that House a party answering to the description usually given of the old Whig and Tory parties, he would ask why might they not support such a measure as the present? There was scarcely a principle which each of them had not at one time supported, and at another opposed. The Whigs latterly supported the repeal of the Septennial Bill; and on the Regency Bill the Tories contended that the House of Commons possessed, and of right ought to possess, the full power of making provision for the care of the Government—while, on the other hand, the Whigs insisted that the heir-apparent ought to take upon himself the office of Regent. Did any man in that House who gravely, impartially, and intelligently considered the question, persevere in saying that the Conservative party were called upon by consistency to resist the present Motion? Hon. Members had said the conduct of the leader of the Conservative party had during the last years imposed upon him a necessity which ought to have prevented his bringing forward such a measure as the present. Surely no one could for a moment affirm such a proposition as that who remembered the conduct of the leader of their party in the year 1829, or who had the least recollection of the conduct pursued by his right hon. Friend at the head of the Government in the years immediately following that period. Nay, it could scarcely be thought by any one who had the least knowledge of the whole political course of the right hon. Gentleman sitting near him (Sir James Graham), even before the year 1829. In perfect consonance with the course pursued by the right hon. Baronet was that which had been adopted by a noble Lord recently a Member of that House, but now transferred to the other branch of the Legislature. He (Mr. C. W. Wynn) had, together with a large portion of the Conservative party, during forty of the fifty years that he had been in Parliament, supported measures of the kind now before the House. In the years 1807 and 1808, he, and those with whom he had been in the habit of acting, had thought that an enlarged support to the College of Maynooth had become necessary. They felt the necessity of drawing closer the bonds of connexion between Great Britain and Ireland. Mr. Pitt knew, and he himself knew, as far as any one could be said to know who held the subordinate post of Under Secretary of the Home Department, that Bonaparte had made to those who were intended for the Irish priesthood the most splendid offers. He offered to endow for them the most splendid colleges, and to confer upon them all the advantages which the highest ambition could desire; but, with a noble spirit of loyalty, they resisted all his propositions. Upon that topic it was hardly necessary for him to say more. The force and application of such a fact could be scarcely questioned. He should now come to another part of the reasonings and authorities used in the present discussion. The authority of Mr. Burke was quoted in opposition to the Bill; but how was that authority presented to the House? In the shape of two lines only from the works of that distinguished writer. But if those who had so quoted him had done justice to the sentiments of the eminent individual on whose authority they relied, they would have quoted not two lines, but they would have referred to the whole bulk and body of his works, and to the whole course of his political reasonings, from which it could not fail to be obvious to the most hasty reader, that Mr. Burke most strongly recommended the efficient support of the College of Maynooth. The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland who preceded Lord Camden, had strongly recommended the establishment and support of the College of Maynooth. He proceeded with wisdom and foresight, by means of that institution, to make provision for the education of the Irish priesthood. Lord Camden laid the first stone of the College of Maynooth, but he did not lay its foundation alone with mortar or with rock, but with the whole influence and power of Government he laid the foundation of a sound system of instruction for those who were to be the spiritual guides to the people of Ireland. Those were the principles upon which Maynooth had been founded, and on which it ought to be supported. They were principally supported by the ablest and wisest statesmen who had ever conducted the affairs of this country. They were sanctioned by the authority of Mr. Pitt, of Lord Castlereagh, and of Lord Cornwallis. But in making these grants, to what did Mr. Pitt look? He looked not only to the education of the Romish clergy, but also to the security of the Protestant Church, and to the stability of the King's Government. That Church, which was the Church of 7,000,000 of Her Majesty's subjects, should not be disregarded by the Executive or the Legislative Powers of the State. The priesthood in such a country as Ireland should not be left wholly dependent upon the population of the parishes; and, above all other things, should not be left during their years of education in circumstances of penury, or even of insufficient provision. On these several grounds he should support the grant; but he might add that he supported it because it was an infringement of the voluntary principle. Every one must see that Romanism existed in Ireland upon the voluntary principle; and that this connexion of it with Government had a tendency to infringe the voluntary principle. He strongly supported the measure, and he thought that his right hon. Friend who sat near him was entitled to the thanks of the country for the manner in which he had brought forward the Motion at the risk of great personal sacrifice, and he hoped that he would be able to carry it to a successful issue.

Mr. Cowper

said the hon. Member for Northamptonshire had frankly declared with a scrupulousness that did him credit, that he did not feel himself at liberty to support this Bill, after being elected on the understanding that he was to form part of that great Tory party which was then opposing all concessions to Romanism; and the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. W. Wynn) had answered, that he never was a Tory, and that certain other Members of the Government were not Tories; but where were they to look for a representative of Toryism, if they were not to find it in the present head of the Government; and whatever might have been that right hon. Gentleman's course upon particular occasions, no one could deny that he owed his present position, mainly to that opposition of which he was the acknowledged leader, against Whig measures of concession towards Irish Roman Catholics. He felt the force of the hon. Member for Northamptonshire's remarks upon the evils arising from distrust in public men; but he rejoiced at the triumph afforded to the truth of Whig principles, when the right hon. Baronet was compelled by his sense of duty, and by his view of the necessities of the times, to adopt them. He felt that the only arguments which had been urged with any effect against the present measure, were those which rested upon religious grounds, and to those he should address himself. The new and varying combinations of men on this question, had been alluded to, and he agreed with many of the premises of the hon. Members for the University of Oxford and for Kent; but he totally disagreed with their conclusions. He had the highest value for Protestantism, and viewed it as the chief blessing of this nation; but among the principles for which he valued it were, the right of private judgment, the supremacy of individual conscience, and toleration of erroneous opinions; and he could not join in an attempt to promote it at the expense of any of these. The rule which the hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford had laid down was, that no Member of the Legislature should consent to grant money for the maintenance of opinions which, he individually believed, to be erroneous. Now that rule, if applicable at all, must be applied universally; but to do so was impracticable, or if practicable, must lead to the dismemberment of the Empire. The Almighty Ruler of the universe had given us dominions in every part of the globe, and comprising every variety of creed; could it be intended that we should govern these upon a maxim which they would everywhere feel to be unjust and unequal? No, we never thought of putting it in force in Asia, Africa, or America; we kept it for Ireland. He traced this mistake in the maxim to overlooking the distinction between the individual and the representative character. By the theory of the Constitution, he and also the Member for Oxford represented the Irish Roman Catholics as well as those constituents who had elected them. In his individual capacity he might take his own personal convictions as the rule of conduct; but in his representative character he ought also to take into consideration the wants and feelings and convictions of those on whose behalf he was acting. As an individual, he had a right to protest against the error of the doctrines taught at Maynooth; but as a Representative, he was obliged to listen to the claims of those who formed so large a portion of the United Kingdom. Then there was another distinction he drew between Acts treating of religious belief, and Acts like the present, only granting money and civil privileges. There were Statutes of Edward VI. and Elizabeth, stating who were the professors of the truth of Christ's religion, and specifying the true faith. In such instances Parliament was expressing its own belief. And if it were proposed to pass such an Act as that of the 1st and 2nd of Mary, which recited that "false doctrine hath been taught and preached, we seeing our own errors, make a declaration of our repentance;" rather than vote for it he would be among those twelve members who had promised to die upon the floor of that House, and, seriously, he would rather abandon life than give his assent. But he could not see that this Bill for which he was going to vote expressed any opinion as to truth or falsehood. Its enactments would be consistent even with a preamble declaring the falsity of the doctrines to be taught at Maynooth. Suppose such a preamble as this—"Whereas certain doctrines are not true, but are believed to be true by the majority of the people of Ireland, and the said people are determined to be taught no other, it is expedient to endow the teachers," &c.; such a preamble would not be inconsistent with the Bill as they were going to pass it. It appeared to him, after giving the most careful attention to the subject, that the matters dealt with in this Bill were among those to which they were to apply the precept of Scripture, "Render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's." They were conferring civil advantages, endowment, and incorporation, but were making no profession of belief. It was a secular matter. He desired the spread of his religion in Ireland, as no doubt Roman Catholic Gentlemen near him desired the extension of theirs in England. Those who shared his feeling ought to see that to extend Protestantism in Ireland a very different system must be adopted from that which had been in force since the Reformation. He did not agree that "restitution" was required, at least in the sense in which the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool had been understood to use it; but that noble Lord's meaning would probably be better conveyed by saying that England owes compensation to Ireland for past errors. One of those faults was refusing to place the doctrines of the Reformation before the Irish in a suitable manner. During the latter portion of the reign of Henry VIII., the whole of Edward VI., and the first eleven years of Queen Elizabeth, the whole of the Irish people renounced the Pope, acknowledged the supremacy of the Sovereign over the Church, and conformed to the Anglican Liturgy in their parish churches. In 1540 and the following years, the principal Irish chieftains bound themselves by indentures to maintain the ecclesiastical supremacy of the King. But, though the Irish were thus ready to receive the Reformation, no steps were taken to explain it; they were the only people who were not addressed by the Reformers in their native tongue. Their former creed was proscribed, but no means were taken to impart another. Archbishop King protested against the proceedings of the Parliament and Convocation of his day, "because they did not assign the true cause for the Irish continuing in their errors, which was, that no care was taken to preach to them in their native tongue," and then came to this remarkable conclusion:—"It is plain to me, by the methods that have been taken since the Reformation, and which are yet pursued, both by the civil and ecclesiastical rulers, that there never was, nor is, any design that all should be Protestants." The Protestant religion had been made a mere adjunct of Protestant ascendancy: instead of being promulgated for its own sake and for the good of the people, it had been seized upon by politicians, used as an instrument for party ends, and became the distinctive mark of antagonist races. It was time they should adopt a different course; that they should give to Roman Catholics all the advantages to which they were fairly entitled, and remove all proscription; they should furnish all necessary help which might be required from the State; they had already provided general education—what remained was the education of their teachers. To that they had a fair claim. It was doing no good service to Protestantism to make it a bar to granting civil advantages to Roman Catholics. The friends of Protestantism should leave it to work in its proper sphere—the sphere of conscience and of the unfettered will, and in a spirit of love; and should not force it into politics, or seek to uphold it by restrictive legislation. They should leave Protestantism to be inculcated by persuasion and argument, and not carry it into matters to which it did not apply; and above all, they should not place it in the invidious position of interfering with justice towards Ireland, or prevent them from doing their duty towards that neglected country.

Mr. Gregory

said, that the question had hitherto been very partially discussed, both in the present and the past debate; that hon. Members who had spoken on both sides of the House, as well as the introducer of the Bill, had taken this as a plain substantive proposition, as if the only question for discussion were the fact that the money hitherto voted for Maynooth had been proved to be insufficient, and that several thousands more per annum should be added to that institution to increase its efficiency. He wished that hon. Members would dismiss from their minds the arithmetical view of the case, and would regard this not as an absolute but as a relative question, and consider the results likely to arise from it. In politics, as well as in physics, there were consequences at which they might arrive with almost the same degree of certainty. From Catholic Emancipation, the consequence of relaxations—relaxations called for imperatively by humanity and justice, every debate and measure connected with Ireland tended to the same end. It was not the person most deeply engaged in the battle that could give the best account of the disposition of the field, or form the most accurate judgment as to its result; but the person who beheld from afar each evolution during the eventful day. The comparison held good in politics; and intelligent and contemplative spectators of Parliamentary proceedings since 1828 were able to form a better judgment as to the issue of the protracted struggle than those who were engaged in the affray. That struggle was the existence of the Protestant Church in Ireland; and the opinion of intelligent and thoughtful persons out of doors was against the stability of that establishment, not so much from the fierce attacks of assailants as from the irresoluteness and false position occupied by her friends. The Irish Church Temporalities Act, the Municipal Corporation Bill, the Dissenters Chapels Bill, tended to the same end. He wished to pass no opinion on these enactments. He took them as he found them, without praise or blame, for he sake of argument. The House was called on to vote an increase to Maynooth, which was to be the harbinger of tranquillity to Ireland; by it the attention, it was said, of the Roman Catholic priest would be directed from political dinners and monster-meetings to the contemplation of his duties. Were that the case, the right hon. Baronet would insure the gratitude of posterity. But he could not imagine that diminished ambition would walk hand in hand with increased education, or that in proportion as the mind became instructed and refined that it became more bounded in its aspirations; or that the ministers of that religion called by the hon. Member for Dungarvon (Mr. Sheil) "the true, the immutable, the eternal," would from increased instruction be the more induced to acquiesce in the existence of a Church whose teaching they considered erroneous. By the Bequests Act they obtained rank; by this measure they were to obtain power, for was not knowledge power? Wealth alone remained unconceded; that must be granted. That proposition was laid down by the noble Lord the Member for London, who denied that the pacification of Ireland would be complete without a stipend to the Catholic clergy. But where was the money to come from? Every little parish had protested against this grant, and every constituency called on their Member to oppose it; and would the people of England consent to pay the minister of a religion who would grant to the State no concession, and be bound by no tie, and who were to be seen ever aiding those who endeavoured to disjoin the two countries? The hon. Member for Sheffield provided a solution for these difficulties by taking the sum required out of the Irish Church; and the people of England and Scotland, glad to escape themselves, would leave the Irish Church to do battle for herself. And here he (Mr. Gregory) might be allowed, parenthetically, to remark with what amusing gravity an hon. Member said the Roman Catholic priesthood would refuse any such payment. He had no doubt that if the offer were seriously made, the noli episcopari would soon, by an easy transposition, become the volumus episcopari of the Roman Catholic priesthood. The endowment of that priesthood must, as a necessary consequence, follow the present measure. And where then was the money to come from? The hon. Member for Sheffield proposed an easy solution of this difficulty. He would have the money abstracted from the revenues of the Established Church. But if, in 1837, Lord Stanley resisted the Municipal Corporation Bill, on the ground that it tended to the instability of the Protestant Church, were not Her Majesty's Ministers still more bound to resist an act of spoliation more offensive to the minds of Protestants than any purely secular question could possibly be? He (Mr. Gregory) had listened with great attention to the speech made by the late President of the Board of Trade—whom he did not want to charge with inconsistency, for great exigencies justified great changes, and the man who remained perfectly unchanged was a subject more of wonder than of admiration—and that right hon. Gentleman admitted that the measure was contrary to the prevailing sentiments of the country. It was an important admission that if the aggregate opinions of the country were faithfully represented in that House, this Bill would be thrown out. The right hon. Gentleman argued, and the argument was repeated by the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Cowper), that there was no inconsistency in the proposed grant, inasmuch as the money was to be taken from the Consolidated Fund; but this argument would involve him (Mr. Gladstone) in inextricable difficulties, for it would with equal force support the claims of Anabaptists, Socinians, Mormonites, and all denominations of Dissenters, on public support. And if the proposed grant were given on such grounds, how could any such claim, if set up, be consistently refused? Could such a claim be refused on the ground of principle? No; for principle had been swept away. Could it be refused on the ground of truth? No; for who was the arbiter of what was true? [Cheers from the Opposition Benches.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite cheered that sentiment. Did they recollect that he was arguing on their own hypothesis? The Reformation had given a standard of truth; but the House of Commons had swept away that standard. He thought the House should be now informed whether this measure was to stand alone, or to be the prelude to something else; and if were to be the prelude of something else, and that that something should include the payment of the Roman Catholic priesthood, the House should know whether that payment was to be provided at the expense of the Established Church of Ireland. The organ of the Roman Catholic party in Ireland said this measure was extorted by agitation, and that so long as the Established Church remained, there would be no cessation of that agitation. That was a reason why the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Ward) should pause before he called upon the House to apply the revenues of the Established Church to Roman Catholic purposes. He (Mr. Gregory) was aware that it was useless to address Gentlemen opposite with arguments founded on the rights of the Established Church and the justice of her claims. He was perfectly sure that arguments of that sort would have no weight with them. They were influenced by arguments derived from political considerations alone. Hon. Gentlemen opposite should then consider that hitherto the Protestants of Ireland were kept from the agitation for Repeal solely by their veneration for the Established Church, which they believed would be swept away if they consented to that measure. He would read, in support of this opinion, an extract from a contemporary Conservative writer, who, with reference to this matter, observes:— Mark the local consequences of the distinction of the Protestant Establishment. By its abolition you would unfix a vast amount of that most dangerous and explosive of all political elements — mind. Those only who know the true state of Ireland can be aware of the number of minds quietly muzzled by the Protestant Establishment; three-fourths of the intellect and acquirements of Trinity College, with all its auxiliary classes, are completely unprejudiced, merely in consequence of the Church Establishment. The mind of Ireland has never yet fairly influenced the brute force of the country. All the movements hitherto against England have, for the most part, been directed by mere agitators. What the masses of Ireland require, to enable them to rock the British power to its very basis, is a well-trained corps of noble, gallant, and ambitious minds, filled with exalted ideas, gathered from a generous view of things, and disciplined by intellectual pursuits, by philosophical studies, and by scientific habits. And there could be counted dozens of men of that stamp who are at this moment imperialized by the force and power of the Church Establishment alone. He (Mr. Gregory) would oppose the Motion before the House.

Mr. Macaulay

Sir, I have no intention of following the hon. Gentleman who last sat down into a discussion on an Amendment which has not been moved. When my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield shall think it expedient to propose to us a Motion upon the subject which he has repeatedly introduced to the notice of the House, I may, perhaps, request your indulgence while I offer a few remarks on the question. At present it is sufficient that I should explain why I think it my duty to vote for the second reading of this Bill, which I think I cannot do better than by passing in review, as rapidly as I can, the principal objections which have been made in this House, and out of the House, to the measure now before us. It seems to mc, Sir, that these objections, or at least by far the greater part of them, may be readily arranged under three heads. There is, in the first place, a large class of persons who, it seems, do not object to the grant to Maynooth already made; but object to the proposed increase of the existing grant. There is, again, a large and respectable body of persons who object to any grant whatever—to the old grant as well as to the increase for religious purposes. They conceive that they are not justified, either as private individuals or as Members of a State, in contributing to the propagation of what they deem to be error. There are others who take a still wider ground—those who say that, without inquiry whether the Catholic Church teaches truth or error, they on either supposition object to any and every endowment for its clergy, or the principle of opposing all State endowments. They are advocates of the voluntary system; and if consistent to the opinions they profess, they ought equally to disapprove of the maintenance by the State of the endowments of the Established Church of Ireland as well as the grant to the Presbyterian clergy. Now, as to the first of these parties, I must confess I am exceedingly surprised that there should be found in this country any person not objecting to the old grant, who yet takes the very fallacious and untenable ground of objecting to its increase. I am forced, however, to believe that there are many such persons. When I remember how quietly this grant has passed in former years, and with what violent excitement the proposed increase is opposed; what small minorities have voted against this grant in former years, and how large a body of persons come down to vote against the increase, I must think there is a very considerable number of persons who, if the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government had merely proposed the original vote of 9,000l. would have voted for it without the smallest scruple, and yet whose minds are greatly troubled by his proposal. I cannot but wonder that it should be so, for this is a question which I cannot conceive that any human ingenuity can convert into one of principle. Of all the strange contrarieties which ever entered into the human mind, this is the strangest, for the question is purely and solely one between 9,000l. and 26,000l. a year. ["No, No."] I cannot tell how hon. Gentlemen opposite understand the objection I am considering, but thus it appears to me. I am speaking not of those who object to any grant to Maynooth; I am speaking of those who say that if a vote of 9,000l. had been proposed, as last year, they would have voted for it, and yet who do object to the increase to which we are asked to consent. I understand the advocate of the voluntary system, who says, "Whether the Roman Catholic Church teaches truth or error, I on principle will grant it no support." I understand the zealous Protestant, who says, "On account of the errors of the Roman Catholic Church, I think it wrong to give her clergy any support from the public purse, and, therefore, I refuse ray consent;" and I understand the Protestant, equally zealous, but in my opinion more enlightened, who says, "In spite of the errors of the Roman Catholic Church, I do think myself at liberty to grant some aid." But I cannot understand the man who admits the propriety of the former grant, and resists the increase; who says, "In spite of the errors of the Roman Catholic Church, I am at liberty to grant her aid; but on account of her errors that aid shall be a pittance it is disgraceful for me to give, and her to receive; her rites are so superstitious that I will give her a squalid, dilapidated chapel wherein to perform them; her doctrines are so absurd, that I will find a professor to teach them, to whom I will give wages I would not offer to my groom." I cannot understand those Gentlemen who say they have on objection to a Catholic establishment, provided it be shabby; they have no objection to support those persons who are to teach the doctrines of religion, and administer the sacraments to the next generation of the Irish people, provided only those persons shall cost something less than the pay of a common infantry soldier; they have no objection to board them, provided only the allowance for their board be made so scanty that they are compelled, as we have been told, to break up their studies before the proper time, merely for want of provisions; they have no objections to lodge them, if only they are packed like pigs in a sty, exposed to wind and rain. Is it possible to conceive anything more frivolous or absurd? Can any principle of action be clearer or better founded than this—whatever it is lawful to do, you ought to do it well? Can anything be more evident than that, if it be right to keep up a college, it is right to keep it up respectably? Whatever this institution be, whether good or bad, it is clearly an important institution; it is established to form the opinions and moral character of those who are themselves to form the moral character of a nation. It may be right to withhold patronage from it altogether; that is a very grave question; but what I say is, if you do give patronage at all, it should be patronage worthy of the greatness of the object and the dignity of the donor. It is with a peculiarly bad grace, I must say, that the Member for the University to which I have the honour to belong—a Gentleman who never voted, or thought it necessary on any occasion whatever, to oppose the grant of 9,000l.—now opposes strenuously the grant of 26,000l.: I say, that objections of that sort come with a very bad grace from one who is the Representative of an English University. When I consider with what magnificence religion and science are endowed in our Universities; when I call to mind their long streets of palaces, their venerable cloisters, their trim gardens—their chapels with organs, altar-pieces, and stained windows; when I remember their schools, libraries, museums, and galleries of art; when I remember, too, all the solid comforts provided in those places both for instructors and pupils, the stately dwellings of the principals, the commodious apartments of the fellows and scholars; when I remember that the very sizars and servitors are lodged far better than you propose to lodge those priests who are to teach the whole people of Ireland; when I think of the halls, the common-rooms, the bowling-greens, even the stabling of Oxford and Cambridge — the display of old plate on the tables, the good cheer of the kitchen, the oceans of excellent ale in the buttery, and when I remember from whom all this splendour and plenty are derived; when I remember the faith of Edward III. and Henry VI., of Margaret of Anjou and Margaret of Richmond, of William of Wykeham, of Archbishop Chichelcy and Cardinal Wolsey; when I remember what we have taken from the Roman Catholic religion—King's College, New College, my own Trinity College, and Christ's Church—and when I look at the miserable Do-the-boys-Hall we have given them in return—I ask myself if we, and if the Protestant religion, are not disgraced by the comparison? If the advocates of this opinion have convinced themselves that there is a clear distinction of principle between 9,000l. and 26,000.—if they can show us it is a question of principle—if some of them would rise and do that — I, for one, shall be ready to give way. I believe I may safely defy any of them; and I must remain unconverted by them. There are some who say that a contract was made at the time of the Union with the Irish Parliament; and this, it is suggested, binds us to the maintenance, but not to the increase of the grant. Now, I must freely say, with those petitioners who have laid so much paper and parchment on your Table, that I do not admit the existence of this contract. Even if there be any contract with the old Irish Parliament and people, still this would not absolve us from the business of legislating for this College. If the measure of endowment be in itself pernicious, we have a right to deal with the grant on the ground of its own merits. I do not think there is likely to be much dispute between Gentlemen in this House on that head. I conceive I am as much at liberty to deal with this as with any other subject concerning Ireland—to vote for the abolition or reduction of the grant, as I should be to vote on a grant for the artillery or the marines. Suppose you admit a contract; that will not get you out of the difficulty. How would that prove the radical difference between 9,000l. and 26,000l.? Construe it as you would, you would not be able to establish the distinction you aim at. What is the contract? Are you bound to do for Maynooth what the Irish Parliament did for it? Or are you bound to maintain it efficiently and respectably? If you are only bound to do for it what the Irish Parliament did, 9,000l. is too much; but if you are bound to maintain it efficiently and respectably, then I defy any person to argue that the 26,000l. now proposed is too much. I say, therefore, it seems to me impossible that any such distinction as hon. Gentlemen opposite suppose can be established. If the grant of 26,000l. be innocent, vote it; but I think it cannot be contended that if 26,000l. would be wrong, because it is contrary to our moral obligations to encourage error, a grant of 9,000l. would not be wrong also. I come now to an objection which I should be sorry to treat lightly—I mean, the religious objection. That is, simply stated, "The Church of Rome teaches error; and you are not justified, either as individuals or a State, in contributing to its propagation." I must say, I cannot admit the soundness of that proposition: I think it wholly impossible to deny that there are occasions on which the State is bound to contribute from its resources to objects, on the promotion of which the propagation of some amount of error may be consequent. Let me be clearly understood. It is undoubtedly a very plausible proposition, that you ought always to do your best to spread truth, and never to propagate error; but if the constitution of the human mind and the state of the world be such that it is impossible, on any large and extensive scale, to propagate truth at all without some intermixture of error; if no machinery has yet been devised by which error could be absolutely excluded; if even those rays of moral light which come down to us from on high, pure and perfect as they are in themselves, necessarily become in some degree refracted, distorted, and obscure, when they enter that dark and gross atmosphere in which we breathe—what then? I presume that no Christian, no Protestant Christian, will deny that if it be possible to propagate pure truth, it must be by the circulation of the Scriptures; and yet, when that is tried—when you circulate the Scriptures, what difficulties are experienced! I remember being in the East, where a translation into the Oriental languages was proceeding with great vigour, munificently assisted by societies in this country, assiduously attended by men whose object was to enlighten the natives of India. The translation was very well executed, but every skilful Orientalist knew that there were errors in it; and every one must acknowledge how impossible it would be to take any particular version of Sacred Truth and say, human infirmity has left no error here—human transcribers are to be detected in no fault. If that be the case even with the Scriptures themselves, how much more will it be the case with the institutes of men!— how much more with all the machinery they employ with schools and books; for you may send forth teachers and circulate tracts, but neither the one nor the other are inspired. Are your teachers infallible, are your tracts perfect? Look at your own Church! Many persons advocate an addition to the means of religious instruction already existing in this country; will they say that the Church teaches truth without admixture of error? Does both the Church of England and the Church of Scotland teach truth without any admixture of error? or that, though the same in principle, their doctrines and government do in many respects differ. Then, when you endow and protect both these institutions, must you not in one case or the other be disseminating a certain amount of error? Go into either of them which is perfect? Take the Church of Scotland before the late unhappy separation. Will anybody say that there was not a large amount of error within its communion? There were, at one time, Dr. Robertson and Dr. Erskine preaching under the same roof, one in the morning, the other in the afternoon, upon two different systems of doctrine; so different that the admirers of the one thought those of the other fanatics, while they in their turn regarded the former as Arians. Again, is the Church of England one in which no error is to be found? Is not the whole country convulsed with the different doctrines which are taught by its ministers? My hon. Friend the Member for Oxford wants Church extension; he demands a large addition to the Establishment; is it because he thinks no error is taught within the Church? Is it not absolutely certain, that whether those who are called Tractarians or the Evangelical party be in the right, some people get into the pulpits who are very much in the wrong? My hon. Friend himself will say that one or other of these propagates opinions which he holds to be erroneous. It is quite clear, then, that in the Church of England a great deal of error is taught; and if we were to vote one or two millions to increase the endowments of the Church of England, a great proportion must go to the propagation of error. What is the result? My hon. Friend defends his plan of Church extension. The missionary at Serampore defends his translation of the Scriptures, many copies of which he gives away among the native population. But do we propagate error for the sake of propagating error? Far from it. But some alloy must necessarily be mixed with the truth. It is the effect of human infirmity. Therefore the principle which we follow is this: where truth is of such importance and value that it is in the highest degree desirable it should be known, we will not refrain from circulating it in spite of an alloy of error in it by any means in our power. We think it better, in the first place, that the people should be taught some portion of truth than not be taught at all; and, secondly, we do not stand in the way of those who would teach more truth. It is much better that the people of Ireland should be Roman Catholics than have no religion at all. The argument that we might as well contribute to teach the people the worship of Juggernaut and Kalee, is of no force. It is not logically necessary that we should go to the extreme of supporting Juggernaut and Kalee. That which is good and valuable in the Roman Catholic religion is so much out of proportion to that which has nothing at all good and valuable, that it is infinitely better that the Irish peasantry should live and die Roman Catholics, than indulge their passions without any religious restraints, bear the calamities of life without the consolations of religion, and die at last without religious hope. In the course, therefore, which it is now proposed to pursue, we are, I conceive, conducing to their instruction and advantage. Then the question is, Do I stand in the way of anything better? Do I offer an obstacle to the advancement of pure religion? Will that be impeded by giving better instruction to those who are to teach the people? If there is any Gentleman in this House who, after the experience of generations, believes that by withholding this "rant to Maynooth College he gives an impulse whereby to bear down the Roman Catholic religion, I think he ought on that ground to vote against the grant; but I find it difficult to imagine, after the experience we have had, that any Gentleman can seriously be of that opinion. These, then, are the considerations that satisfy my mind. I do not aim at propagating error. To do so is not only wrong, but diabolical; but I say that it is of the greatest importance that Christianity, even in a form which I think greatly tainted with error, should prevail in Ireland, and have influence on the peasantry; and seeing not the slightest probability that it would have that influence except in the form of Roman Catholicism, I think we are at liberty to confer this boon in spite of the error which I believe to be mixed up with the Roman Catholic religion. Nay, I think we are bound to provide competent instruction for those who are to teach that religion. Then as to the objection founded on the voluntary principle. I admit that there is great force in that objection; but I say, even if we were to admit the general argument to be in favour of the voluntary principle, that this case forms an exception. Is there any case like it? Here you see Ireland with a population of some eight millions, and with an Established Church the members of which amount only to about 800,000, richly endowed. I recollect that it was stated in the debates of 1833, that among the twelve prelates retained there was divided the sum of 70,000l. There is an archbishop with 10,000l., and there are bishops with large emoluments. You have, at the same time, the Protestant Dissenters in the north of Ireland receiving in another form an endowment from the State; and then you have four-fifths of the population—the poorest of all—those who stand the most in need of assistance from the State (if any have a right to it), and who are the very people for whom these endowments were intended by the donors, receiving no aid from the Government in the way of payment of their spiritual teachers. Even if you deny the validity of endowments generally, can you say that this is not a case which stands by itself? and can you apply to it, even if you are opposed to State endowments generally, an argument founded on such an objection? I was quite astonished to hear the hon. Member for Shrewsbury tell us that, if we made this grant, it would be utterly impossible for us to resist the claim of the Wesleyan Methodists and other Dissenters. Are the cases analogous? Is there the slightest resemblance between them? There are 16,000,000 of people in England. Show me that the Wesleyan Methodists number 13,000,000; that there is an Established Church here with 1,500,000 only of persons belonging to it; that the other Dissenters are receiving a Regium Donum—add to this that large endowments bequeathed to John Wesley and his followers have been taken away by Parliament and given to the Church, and that the Wesleyan Methodists ask for 26,000l. a year to educate their clergy. Give me that case, and I will be prepared to take it into consideration. But you will bring me no such case either from England or the whole world. It is impossible to give it anywhere but Ireland. How could it be? It could not be in England; it could not be in France; nor in Prussia. It could be only in a country in one particular situation; and what I am going to mention is a consideration which reconciles me much to laying on the nation this burden. It could be only in the case of a weak country connected with a more powerful country which had abused its power, and enabled the minority to triumph over the majority. Never but in Ireland, and under the circumstances I have mentioned, did such a case exist; and while these great endowments exist, and are appropriated in a different way from their original intentions, I do not conceive that it is open to me, however strong my general feeling might be on the voluntary principle, to meet the Irish, who ask for 17,000l. more for the education of their priests, and say to them, I am on principle opposed to such a grant. Where the grant is to come from remains for an after discussion; the question now is whether it shall be made or not. It appears, therefore, perfectly clear to me, in the first place, that if we have no scruple about granting 9,000l., we can have no conscientious scruple about granting 26,000l. In the second place, it seems to me to be impossible to maintain to the full extent that we ought never to contribute to propagate error, without making it impossible for the State or individuals to make exertions to propagate truth; and lastly, it appears to me that the particular circumstances in which the Catholic population of Ireland is placed in reference to the Established Church of that country, do, even supposing the voluntary principle to be generally the sounder principle, take the case of Ireland out of the operation of that sound principle, and constitute it an exception. They make it one of a morbid character, and as it were a lusus naturæ. Under such circumstances, I feel convinced that if we were to oppose this grant from any notion of asserting the principles of religious equality, we should only be giving a victory not to the friends of religious liberty, but to those who are the most opposed to religious liberty. These are the chief observations which I have to offer with respect to the measure itself; but another class of considerations has been forced upon our notice. We were called on, upon the first night of this debate, to oppose this measure, whatever its merits might be, because it was brought forward by men who could not justly or honourably bring it forward. A similar argument has been repeated to-night; and I conceive, that on this occasion we may, and ought not from party spirit or vindictive feeling, but from a just regard for the public interest, and for the character of public men, to go into some of the circumstances connected with this matter. Undoubtedly it is of the highest importance that we should pass good laws, but it is also of the highest importance that public men should have some great fixed principles, and that they should be guided by those fixed principles in office and in opposition. It is most important that it should not appear to the world that a mere change of situation produces a complete change of opinion. I think I need not attempt to prove that a particular measure may be exceedingly good, and may yet, when viewed in connexion with the former conduct and opinions of those who bring it forward, be lowered in public estimation. When such is the case, our course is clear. We ought to distinguish between the measure and its authors. The measure we are bound, on account of its intrinsic merits, to support; while with regard to its authors it may be our duty to speak of their conduct in terms of censure. In such terms of censure I feel it my duty to speak of the conduct of Her Majesty's present advisers. I have no feeling of personal hostility; and I trust that the political hostility I shall avow by no means precludes me from admitting that the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government is a man of considerable capabilities as a legislator: he possesses great talents for debate, for the management of this House, and for the transaction of official business. He has great knowledge, and I doubt not is actuated by a sincere desire to promote the interests of the country; but it is impossible for me with truth to deny that there is too much ground for the reproaches of those who having, in spite of bitter experience, a second time trusted him and raised him to power, have found themselves a second time deluded. It is impossible for me not to say that it has been too much the habit of the right hon. Baronet to make use of, when in opposition (as he has done in reference to the present question), passions with which he has not the slightest sympathy, and prejudices which he regards with profound contempt. As soon as he reaches power, a change—a salutary change for the country—takes place. The instruments are flung aside—the ladder by which he climbed is kicked down. This is not a solitary instance, and I am forced to say that this sort of conduct is pursued by the right hon. Baronet on something like a system. I shall not attempt to go over the events of years ago. I shall say nothing more of 1827 and 1829 than this—that one such change is quite enough for one man. Again the right hon. Baronet was in opposition, and again he and those with whom he acted returned to their old tactics. I will not go through the history of all those manœuvres by which the Whig Government was overthrown; I will only ask this question, whether there be one single class of men which rallied round the right hon. Baronet at that time which does not now declare bitterly against him? One part of this subject I will leave to the management of the landed Gentlemen, and I shall confine myself to the matter before us. I defy any man to deny that the cry which most injured the Melbourne Government was the No Popery cry. This was admitted by the hon. Member for Northamptonshire (Mr. O'Brien). Is there a single person in this House who believes that, if four years ago my noble Friend (Lord J. Russell) had brought in this Bill, it would not have been opposed by the whole party then in opposition? Indeed, four years ago we were discussing a very different Bill. At that time the party in opposition brought in a Bill which, though under another name, was neither more nor less than a Bill to disfranchise the people of Ireland by tens of thousands. They brought it in and pressed it on, representing it to be necessary for the good government of Ireland; and all their followers declared that it was necessary it should pass in order to purge the House of Commons of the minions of Popery. It was argued, on the other hand, that that Bill would destroy the Irish constituency, and the right hon. Gentlemen opposite have since shown by their conduct that they knew it would have that effect. We pleaded for delay—we asked the party in opposition to wait till we instituted inquiries as to the effect of the measure — we called on them to wait at least till the next Session. No notice was taken of our appeals; the Irish Registration Bill was stated to be of the utmost urgency, and it was pressed on the House. At length a change took place—a change from opposition to power. The right hon. Baronet's instruments were needed no more. The right hon. Baronet has been in power for four years, and has had a Parliament which would have passed the Irish Registration Bill. Where is the Irish Registration Bill? Flung away, positively pronounced by its authors to be so oppressive and destructive of the representative system that no Minister of the Crown could venture to propose it. That Bill having been thrown away, what has been substituted for it? Why, the present Bill for the endowment of Maynooth College. Did ever person witness such legerdemain? You offer to the eager, honest, hotheaded Protestant, a Bill to take privileges away from the Roman Catholics of Ireland, if he will only assist you to power. He lends you his aid; and then, when you are in power, you turn round on him and give him a Bill for the religious endowment of the Roman Catholic College in Ireland. Is it strange that such proceedings as these should excite indignation? Can we wonder at the clamour which has been raised in the country, or be surprised at the petitions which have been showered, thick as a snow-storm, on the Table of the House? Is it possible that the people out of doors should not feel indignation at seeing that the very parties who, when we were in office, voted against the Maynooth grant, are now being whipped into the House in order to vote for an increased Maynooth grant? The natural consequences follow. Can you wonder that all those fierce spirits whom you have taught to harass us, now turn round and begin to worry you? The Orangeman raises his howl, and Exeter-hall sets up its bray, and Mr. M'Neile is horror-stricken to think that a still larger grant is intended for "the priests of Baal" at the table of "Jezebel;" and your Protestant operatives of Dublin call for the impeachment of the Minister in exceedingly bad English. But what did you expect? Did you think, when you called up for your own purposes the devil of religious animosities, that you could lay him as easily as you raised him? Did you think, when, Session after Session, you went on attacking those whom you knew to be in the right, and flattering the prejudices of those whom you knew to be in the wrong, that the day of reckoning would never come? That day has come; and now, on that day, you are doing penance for the disingenuousness of years. If it be not so, clear your fame as public men, manfully before this House and this country. Show us some clear principle, with respect to Irish affairs, which has guided you, both in office and in opposition. Show us how, if you are honest in 1845, you could have been honest in 1841. Explain to us why, after having, when out of place, goaded Ireland into madness, in order to ingratiate yourselves with England, you are now throwing England into a flame in order to ingratiate yourselves with Ireland. Let us hear some argument that, as Ministers, you are entitled to support, which shall not equally show that you were the most factious and unprincipled Opposition this country ever saw. Sir, these are my opinions respecting the conduct of the Ministry; but am I, therefore, to take the counsel of the hon. Member for Shrewsbury (Mr. Disraeli), and vote against this Bill? Not so. I believe the fate of the Bill, and the fate of the Ministry, to be in our hands; but I believe the spectacle of inconsistency which is exhibited on that Bench will do mischief enough. That mischief will not be lessened, but infinitely increased, if an answering display of inconsistency be made on this side of the House. Admit that the circumstance of this Bill being brought in by Tories or Conservatives, whichever they term themselves, may of itself produce evils, they would be doubled, if it were rejected by means of the Whigs. It seems to me, that then we should have nothing before us but one vast shipwreck of all the public character in the kingdom. And, therefore it is, that though at the cost of sacrifices which it is not agreeable to any man to make, and restraining many feelings that I own stir strongly within me, I have determined to give to this Bill through all its stages my most steady support. To this Bill, and to every Bill emanating from the Government, which shall appear to me calculated to make Great Britain and Ireland one united kingdom, I will give my support, regardless of obloquy—regardless of the risk which I know I run, of losing my seat in Parliament. Obloquy so earned, I shall readily meet. As to my seat in Parliament I will never hold it by an ignominious tenure; and I am sure, that I can never lose it in a more honourable cause.

Mr. Shaw

said, he felt all the inconvenience and personal disadvantage of offering himself to the attention of the House to answer the able and eloquent speech of the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down; but regarding rather the strength of the cause, which he earnestly felt, than the feebleness of the advocate, of which he was very conscious, he would not shrink from the encounter. The observations contained in the latter part of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, he did not so far differ from as to consider himself bound to attempt a reply to them. Still it was with extreme regret that he was obliged upon a question of that importance relating to Ireland, to separate himself from those political leaders with whom he had so long and cordially co-operated in public life. He had, however, only the alternative to do that, or to act against his own conscientious convictions; and he was therefore constrained to oppose that measure of Her Majesty's Ministers. He had been in Ireland when a copy of the Bill moved by his right hon. Friend the First Minister of the Crown, and a report of his right hon. Friend's speech on introducing it, had arrived there; and he never recollected an event which had caused such painful disappointment and deep depression amongst the Protestants of Ireland. He was not alluding only to such bodies as those from which the petition emanated, which had been presented on Friday night by the hon Member for Knares borough (Mr. Ferrand). He believed there were many honest and respectable men in the Association to which he alluded; still he disapproved of their language and their conduct, and in no way professed to represent their sentiments; but he spoke of calm, dispassionate, and reasonable men, many of whom had been the friends of the removal of the disabilities of the Roman Catholics, and all the habitual supporters of his right hon. Friend. They regarded the measure as—what indeed it had been candidly admitted by his right hon. Friend the Member for Newark (Mr. Gladstone) and others, in that debate to be — the first endowment since the Reformation of a Roman Catholic Establishment, in connexion with the State, as a clear indication that thenceforth Ireland was not to be treated as an integral portion of the United Kingdom, and as the heaviest blow that had as yet been struck by foe or friend against the Established Church in Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Macaulay) had challenged an opposition to the measure, on the ground either of a distinction in principle between the former grant to Maynooth, and the present endowment, or upon the religious ground of the difference between truth and error. He would endeavour to meet the right hon. Gentleman on both grounds. He had always considered the comparatively small and uncertain annual grant to the College of Maynooth as a very questionable policy, and principally acquiesced in and let pass, because its discontinuance would have caused individual suffering and pecuniary embarrassment to those whose main support it was. But surely such a chance grant, by way of benevolence as that, was in principle very different from a permanent charge by Act of Parliament upon the Consolidated Fund of a large annual sum of money for supporting, as one of the cherished institutions of the country, a College for the sole and exclusive purpose of teaching the Roman Catholic religion. But he need not argue either that question, or the one of compact. The language of his right hon. Friend (Mr. Gladstone), which he had taken down at the time while his right hon. Friend was advocating the measure, much better expressed what he would desire to say. His right hon. Friend's words were,— The measure is in substance a new measure—the Government, in proposing it, has not only changed the basis of the grant, from an annual grant into a permanent endowment by Act of Parliament, but, by placing the buildings under the immediate care of the Government, thereby certainly established as close a relation as it was possible to establish between that institution and the State by any legislative measure. In the observations he should make on the subject, he would avoid any approach to what could be properly called theological controversy—and, above all, he trusted he should not utter a word which could give offence to the feelings of any Gentleman in that House, or any person out of it, who differed in religion from him. But, upon a question of such vast constitutional importance as the present—one so vitally affecting the best and highest interests of the public—he felt that every independent man had a right and was bound to speak his sentiments freely and fearlessly. To come then to the religious ground, he utterly repudiated the doctrine — the mawkish fallacy—as it appeared to him, of the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Roebuck), that in matters of religion States or Parliaments could make no distinction between truth and error; he did not, as had been put by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Macaulay) claim any infallibility; all human judgment must no doubt be fallible, and, whether Slates or individuals, they could only act upon what they believed to be truth or error — but upon that they were bound practically to act, else religion would be but an empty sound; and false philosophy, latitudinariasm, and infidelity must usurp its place in all the relations of public, social, and domestic life. The hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Roebuck) professed contempt for arguments drawn from that source, he (Mr. Roebuck) said, they eluded the grasp of his understanding. It might be so—it always had been with the worldly wise; and upon the highest authority they learned that it was not to "the scribe, or the disputer of this world," that these simple matters were made the plainest; but depend upon it, the common sense and religious feeling of the community had no difficulty in comprehending them. Was it for Englishmen at that day to deny that laws or constitutions could take distinctions in religion? If so, why was it an essential condition of the reigning dynasty that the Sovereign of these realms must be a Protestant? Why was the Prostestant religion by law established in every portion of the United Kingdom? He had been truly grieved to hear his right hon. Friend (Mr. Gladstone) make use of the expression "that undefined thing indicated by the term Protestantism." True—lamentably true, it was that recently some of those whom they considered should have been the foremost to defend it, had disowned and tried to depreciate the term. He would attempt no nice or logical definition of it, with so subtle a casuist as his right hon. Friend (Mr. Gladstone); but he thanked God that the name of Protestant was still intelligible in its plain and natural sense to the understandings, and dear to the hearts of the people of England; and sure he was, that if the day should arrive, when from any cause, be it the Romanism of their ecclesiastics, or the want of fixed principles in their political rulers—the feelings and affections of the people should be so estranged from the Church, and their confidence so shaken in all Governments, that they should forget the true meaning and forsake the cause of Protestantism; then did he believe in his soul, that their days, as a great nation, would be numbered, and the glory of England have departed for ever. He held the true principle, the most consistent with sound Christianity, and the free spirit of the British constitution to be, that you should not, for conscience sake, persecute what you believe to be error; but that, on the other hand, you should not encourage it. Upon that principle he should not have objected to any relaxation of the Mortmain Acts for the purpose of permitting a sufficient endowment by such individuals, Roman Catholics or others, who might think right to make it for a Roman Catholic college; and that was what had really been done by the Irish Parliament in 1795. But he thought to establish the College of Maynooth as one of the institutions of that essentially Protestant nation, was a national inconsistency—indeed he might say, a national sin. Reference had been made to the analogy of landlords and their tenants; he considered the same principle applicable to them, and that a landed proprietor should give to his Roman Catholic tenantry every facility for the free exercise of their religion; but that he should not encourage, by grant or gift, what they knew he considered erroneous So, in the case of individuals, he would take as a simple illustration of his meaning the feeling that should subsist between two friends who were of different religious persuasions; for example, he would say, his hon. Friend opposite the Member for Roscommon (the O'Conor Don) who had spoken that night, and himself—his hon. Friend differed from him as well in politics as in religion, still he could feel respect for the motives which influenced his hon. Friend in his public life; he could appreciate his private and domestic virtues; he knew no man in whose hands he would more willingly place his honour or his life; he would not deprive him of a single civil right to which he himself (Mr. Shaw) was entitled. His right hon. Friend (Mr. Gladstone) had said, "Act by the Roman Catholic as you would have the Roman Catholic act by you." He (Mr. Shaw) would do so. Differing as he and his hon. Friend (the O'Conor Don) did in religion, both must necessarily believe the other to be in error; and he did not think they would be the better friends, or the more respect one another, if they either, or mutually, were to take active measures for teaching or encouraging the religion which they thought erroneous. On the contrary, in such a case he should consider his Friend, or expect his Friend to consider him, as the case might be, either insincere in his faith, or inconsistent in his conduct. But the reverse of that principle was what was now acted upon in Ireland. The Established Religion was discouraged, while in the same proportion the antagonist religion of Rome was encouraged. At the time that the incomes of their own clergy were so reduced from composition with the landlords, the transfer to them, the clergy, of the whole burden of the church rates, the increase of poor law and other local burdens, that the great majority of them found it impossible to give an university education to their sons; and while they would most have desired to bring them up to the ministry, were driven to seek for them the humblest situations consistent with the birth of a gentleman, they are now to see the clergy of the rival church, educated at the national expense. The same preference was evinced on the subject of education of the lower orders. He was not about to enter then upon any discussion of the system of the National Board of Education in Ireland. The facts of the subject were sufficient for his present purpose; and it was notoriously the fact, that the clergy of the Church in Ireland were, as a body, opposed to that system—that the vast majority of them were prevented by conscientious scruples—whether hon. Gentlemen thought them right or wrong was not the question—they were, in fact, prevented from connecting their schools with the Board. They considered the Roman Catholic doctrine as to the exclusion of the Scriptures sanctioned, and the Protestant principle of their sufficiency and freedom, repudiated; and they knew that virtually the 70,000l. a year granted by Parliament for the support of education in Ireland, or the great proportion of it, was expended on Roman Catholic education. There was, moreover, another characteristic common to both measures to that then before the House and to the course of the Government on national education in Ireland — namely, they dealt with Ireland not as an essential portion of the United Kingdom, but separately and differently, and that was the more remarkable in the case of the Established Church, which was identical in both. The Government refused to grant to the Church in Ireland the very moderate request, that leaving the National Board in existence, they should have allowed the Irish branch of the Church to be united with the English, in participation of the bounty of Parliament, for education in the principles of the Church; and respecting the scruples, or principles, or prejudices—call them what you will—of all the religious sects in Ireland dissenting from the Church, they utterly disregarded those of the members of the Church Establishment; and nearly 20,000 schools, and above 100,000 scholars, under the superintendence of the clergy of the Established Church, were left totally without public support, and an additional burden on the already overtaxed incomes of the clergy. Further, while a provision was to be made by that Bill for the building and repairs of the College of Maynooth, by a public board and at the public cost, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners were every day refusing applications for the building and repairs of the Churches of the Establishment, from the inadequacy of funds to comply with them. These things were not unobserved, and could not be unfelt. All persons inquired what had been the motive, where the inducement to the Government for such a departure from sound principle, so great a violation of the religious feelings of the great Protestant community of the Empire—and that it was the latter had been admitted by his right hon. Friend (Mr. Gladstone), and was attested by the almost unprecedented number of petitions that nightly crowded the Table of the House against it, while, he believed, none, or scarcely any, had been presented in its favour. There had, indeed, been one from the Unitarian Dissenters of Ireland, sent as a token of gratitude to his right hon. Friend (Sir R. Peel) for the Dissenters Chapels Bill of last year. Nothing that could be called in answer to that inquiry had been attempted, unless it was, and he feared it was the nearest the truth, what had been quoted in derision by his right hon. Friend (Mr. Gladstone) from one of the last speeches of Mr. O'Connell, where, in his own peculiar and colloquial style, he had exclaimed, "I thank you, agitation; Conciliation Hall, I am obliged to you; Repeal, Maynooth ought to pray for you." His right hon. Friend (Mr. Gladstone) must forgive him for saving, that while he entertained the most unfeigned respect for the perfect purity of his right hon. Friend's motives, yet, that having listened attentively to his two speeches on the subject, it was to him utterly imcomprehensible why his right hon. Friend had separated from his former Colleagues. But considering his relation to them, his right hon. Friend had made one very ominous remark in supporting the measure, namely, that he thought it chiefly "important on account of the principle it involved." He was of the same opinion. It had been fairly and boldly asserted at the other side of the House to what that principle would naturally lead. It had been but very faintly shadowed forth on the part of the Government where thsy intended it to end. They went too far, or not far enough. They would excite fears and distrust amongst the Protestants of Ireland, which it would be very difficult to allay, and hopes amongst the Roman Catholics which he did not believe the Government meant to realize. He had observed with regret the arguments used in favour of the measure by a reference to our Colonies—that was a dangerous topic. There were few thinking-men, well acquainted with Ireland, without out distinction of politics or party, to whose mind it had not occurred, and never more than within the last few years, that Ireland had been treated more as a Colonial dependency than as an integral portion of the United Kingdom—too long had one party in that country been played against the other—had "Divide et impera" been the Anglo-Irish motto—and though, theretofore, it had been the party of the Government against their opponents, he could not see that in principle the matter was much mended by the present Government playing the party of their opponents against their own. Alas! political feuds, religious and personal animosities, had separated the interests and distracted the minds of Irishmen of all parties; they had not, however, so entirely blinded the more moderate and clearsighted of both, but that they began to perceive the ill consequences of such a system. The national character had been injured—an independent public spirit was well nigh extinguished from amongst them—their unpolitical business—their material interests—their natural resources—their Poor Laws, for example—their local burdens, their public institutions were really neglected. Their professions were lowered—their honour, and the public interests of Ireland sacrificed to considerations of imperial policy—their highest offices filled by strangers, unacquainted with the habits, the wants, or the feelings of the country. The office of Lord Lieutenant had ceased as a mere pageant to dazzle them—and they began to look upon upon the so-called Irish Government as a mockery—the Castle of Dublin as little better than a registration court for the behests of the Home Office at Whitehall. At such a crisis, if the Irish were to lose the pride of their nationality, and not gain the advantage of identification with British interests—if, while the masses of the Irish people were struggling for a separate Parliament, the majority in wealth, education, and influence were made at the same time to tremble for their branch of the United Church—then let the British Government and the Imperial Legislature beware, lest they should find the Irish nation for the first time united—but united in a spirit of general discontent. For those reasons, and many others which time would not then admit that he should even touch upon—and he thanked the House for the kindness and attention with which they had listened to him so long—he would support the Amendment of his hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle (Mr. Colquhoun), for the entire rejection of the Bill.

Mr. Sidney Herbert

hoped, after the two speeches which had just been addressed to the House, it would not be thought presumptuous in him to endeavour to offer a few observations not only in answer to some portions of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Edinburgh, in which he diverged from the question before the House, but also in answer to the speech of the right hon. and learned Gentleman who had just resumed his seat; in which he had come to some conclusions both with respect to the measures of the Government generally, and more particularly with respect to the provisions of the measure now before the House. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Edinburgh (Mr. Macaulay) in a speech, like all his speeches, distinguished for its splendid eloquence and powerful argument, had adduced many reasons, while he had passed over and rejected many other reasons, which to his (Mr. S. Herbert's) mind were very cogent ones for passing the measure before the House. He had proved to demonstration that in this question no principle was involved. Nothing could be more clear than the exposition which the right hon. Gentleman made of a grant to a country having a certain established religion; and that if, for the last fifty years, you had annually expended a grant for the support of that religion, the mere arithmetical operation of multiplying that sum by three was no alteration of the principle whatever. Agreeing with the right hon. Gentleman that this was no new principle, he wished to know by what right he subsequently assumed that this Bill was a great violation of principle, and involved the character of the Government—if it were true, as he believed it to be—as the hon. Member for Edinburgh had stated it to be—that it was only carrying out an implied contract at the time of the Union. He did not assert that there existed any legal instrument constituting that contract. All he argued was, that this measure originated in a Parliament of Ireland exclusively Protestant; that it was suggested by Mr. Burke, adopted by Mr. Pitt, and sanctioned by George III.; that it did become a condition, whether written or implied, upon the settlement of the Union taking place; that, recognised by the Imperial Parliament, voted, modified, and increased by Mr. Perceval, it is still binding on those who would maintain that Union. If, then, this be no question of principle, he wished to know upon what ground it was that the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Macaulay) arraigned Her Majesty's Government for having deserted the principles they had before expressed upon this question. When he saw a measure, of which the right hon. Gentleman himself approved, giving rise to so fierce an attack upon the motives of the Government bringing it forward, he could not help thinking that there was some under current which carried the right hon. Gentleman in that direction; some feeling of chagrin in his mind, probably at being outdone in well-doing by that Government whom the right hon. Gentleman had so boldly charged with a dereliction of principle for the course they had taken. If the right hon. Gentleman only took the trouble to look back, he would see that he had no ground to accuse the Ministers of a dereliction of their duty. He would see that they had voted every year, when in Opposition, for the grant in question. From whom did the main opposition come? It came, not from the constituencies who had elected them as their Representatives, but from the great Dissenting interest. ["No, no."] The right hon. Gentleman was very much mistaken if he believed that the change in opinion respecting the eligibility of the Roman Catholics to a better position than they had enjoyed was confined solely to himself. On the contrary, the conduct of the present Government might contrast most favourably with that Government to which the right hon. Gentleman belonged, which in the ten years it had governed had confined itself to small peddling spoliation of the Appropriation Clause. When they looked to the state in which they found the Roman Catholics placed by means of their legislation, they saw that of all their penal laws the one which had been most successful was also that which had been most injurious to the interests of those who enacted them; that by destroying the old Catholic families they had deprived the people of Ireland of their natural leaders and protectors, and the result had been that they had thrown the Catholic population upon a body of men for leaders who had no direct stake in the country; that there was no class of men with whom the Government could treat free from the prejudices of the people; and that those people were necessarily, for their temporal as well as their spiritual guidance, cast upon the priesthood of the country. If that was the case, and if it existed in no other country as it did in Ireland, he would ask them whether it was not the duty of the State to see that these teachers of the people should themselves receive a liberal and enlightened education, through which alone they might reach the hearts of the people? Hon. Gentlemen had taken a course against this measure which he could not understand. The hon. Member for Newcastle had made what to his mind was the strongest speech that had been delivered in favour of the grant. All his arguments tended to show that it was to education they were to look for the improvement of the Irish people. All the instances he quoted in favour of his views were from countries where they had liberally and munificently endowed Roman Catholic colleges. All the objection he made to the scheme was, that it did not go far enough. No Gentleman had proposed that the grant should be at once given up, and that the Roman Catholic students should, as formerly, be forced to go, a spectacle to Europe, and a disgrace to this country, to seek in foreign lands for that education which was denied them at home. The hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford took up arguments the reverse of the hon. Member for Newcastle. He was afraid that the land would be covered with priests educated according to the principles of Bellarmine. That was an alarm in which he confessed he did not share. He protested against going back to the sixteenth century for the principles of any modern creed. The doctrines the hon. Baronet objected to were not peculiar to Bellarmine; they were held also by many Protestants at the same period. But if they were to have Bellarmines and Bossucts, why should they not also have Pascals and Feuelons? What was there in Ireland to prevent that which took place in other countries—that which took place in this country—their laws and institutions were the same; there was nothing to divide them but the geographical misfortune of the Irish Channel: and the bearing and liberality of the English Roman Catholic clergy were known to all? What was there to prevent the same improvement taking place in Ireland, and to prevent the Irish Roman Catholic clergy becoming as liberal as those of any other country? They had been told that night, as an ominous warning, that the measure would not be efficient to the extent it was supposed: he was, indeed, fully prepared next year, or in years to come, to be taunted with the non-success of this measure. He was not one who would expect peace and civilization at once to spring up as under the wand of an enchanter to cure all the evils of pursuing a policy in Ireland which he thought ought long ago to have been changed. A new generation must first spring up with new sentiments and opinions. All bad laws long leave their effects behind them—good laws do not immediately produce their fruits. He did, however, anticipate much good from this measure, though it might be in the distance of time; and he had been anxious to address the House because the measure was in strict accordance with what he always thought should be the policy adopted in Ireland, and he had done the utmost of his power to give his humble support to it. However this great cause might suffer from his inefficiency as an advocate, he was anxious to partake of any unpopularity that might attend its introduction; and of the responsibility, whether for good or for evil, he was ready to take his full share. He was not one who thought with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Shaw), that the independent spirit of the Irish had been destroyed by the preseut Government. He did not know what the right hon. Gentleman meant, unless it were the vigorous and independent spirit by which each party lived in perpetual hostility to the other; and if that feeling had been sacrificed, as the right hon. Gentleman said it had, to an imperial policy, he asked no more nattering admission, he asked for the Government no greater merit than that they had sacrificed, to an imperial policy, this vigorous and independent mode of displaying national antipathies and religious hatred. But he hoped that there were better signs. No one could have heard the discussion of the past two nights without being struck with the altered tone in that House. Hon. Gentlemen who represented constituencies amongst whom there was much excitement, and whose opinions on this subject they advocated, had to their great honour, as far as language was concerned, represented them most unfaithfully. He had seen in the course of that debate signs of enlarged and comprehensive views: differences were not placed prominently forward; and men thought themselves better employed in dwelling on those points of agreement in the doctrines on which their common salvation depended, than in insisting on and condemning every point of difference. He respected the Roman Catholics, not because they were Roman Catholics, but because they were fellow-Christians. If he were right in thinking that this feeling had gained ground in England and in Ireland, he trusted that Her Majesty's Government would receive from the Irish gentry—even from those who were opposed to this measure—that co-operation without which no legislation could have effect in inducing a spirit of harmony. There were the seeds of danger in all countries from religious differences, and there was danger in the differences between wealth and poverty; but there was still greater danger where the same classes who differed in religion differed also in social position. In Ireland there was one broad line dividing at once races, classes, and religion. This is no case of "let well alone," for there was no "well" in the case. There was here no question whether the prosperity and happiness of the people existed in consequence or in spite of particular circumstances. They all agreed that Ireland was in a state in which something must be done; and he called upon all Irish gentlemen to place themselves in their true position—as the natural leaders of the people, from which religion, and religion alone, had severed them. He had witnessed, last year, and he was greatly gratified with the result of the Charitable Bequests Bill brought in by the Government. He believed that it was one of the best measures that could have been devised for the purpose of bringing endowments to the Roman Catholic Church. Having always held it to be his duty as a landlord to assist in the maintenance of chapels and schools for the Roman Catholic population; so, on the same principle, he had thought it his duty, however it might expose him to calumny, to have advances made for the purpose of endowment in each parish of his estates. He had offered his opinions to the House, because he felt a deep interest in this measure, than which he did not know any the loss of which he should more regret. There was no measure the loss of which would cause more disappointment, and therefore hostility to the Government in Ireland than the loss of this. But he did not, therefore, ask Gentlemen to support it if they thought it wrong. He had only desired to express his firm conviction that the danger of refusing to pass it would be great, in proportion as it was a measure sound in policy, and acceptable to the priesthood, upon the success of which so much depended the education and enlightenment of the people of Ireland.

Debate again adjourned.

House adjourned at half-past twelve o'clock.