§ Sir J. Graham
moved the Order of the Day for the Committee on the Colleges (Ireland) Bill. The right hon. Baronet proceeded to say: Sir, in mating the Motion that you now leave the Chair, that we may go into Committee on the Bill, I shall avail myself, by the permission of the House, of this opportunity of answering several questions which have been put to me on former occasions by hon. Gentlemen in different parts of the House; and, in so doing, I will avoid everything in the shape of argument, which will be more generally applicable when the Amendment of my noble Friend the Member for Hertford (Lord Mahon) shall be before the House. And, first, I will answer the question of the right hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. V. Smith), with reference to the class of persons for whose benefit this measure is intended. The House will remember that in moving the second reading of this Bill, I stated that I and my Colleagues were of opinion, considering the great spread of education among the humbler classes in Ireland, considering that there are 400,000 children receiving education under the national system, and 100,000 children receiv- 1038 ing education from other charitable institutions, making an aggregate of 500,000 persons of the humbler classes now receiving instruction—I say, that considering this spread of education among the humbler classes, and that the Dublin University is open to persons of the highest classes, it did appear to us that in Ireland we ought to extend to the middle classes means of education with which they are not provided, and that this is a want which it is the duty of Parliament to supply. My answer to the question, therefore, put by the right hon. Member for Northampton, "for whom is this education intended?" is, that it is intended for the middle classes, for the commercial, banking, and manufacturing classes of such towns as Cork and Belfast, and also for the gentry, by giving facilities to such as would find an academical education for their sons in Dublin inconvenient. When I state, however, that in establishing these institutions, it is the design of the Government to benefit the middle classes in Ireland, I am very far from intimating by that design, that even the upper classes will not find this collegiate education useful and available; on the contrary, our opinion is, that if the House shall give effect to this measure, the education thus provided by the aid of the State will be, if not superior, at any rate not inferior to the education provided in the Universities of Scotland and in the University of Dublin itself. When I say, therefore, that the Bill is intended for the middle classes, I should do an injustice to the measure, if I confined it to those classes. The next question to which I am about to apply myself was asked by the noble Lord the Member for the city of London, which is of a practical character, and relates to the appropriation of the money. With respect to the capital sum of 30,000l. to be laid out in the purchase or building of these Colleges, the noble Lord will not expect me to enter into details. I may say that this is a maximum sum, and it is not by any means exorbitant. The object may be effected at a less cost; but it was our duty, when we came to Parliament for a vote, to ask such a sum as would be sufficient, and this amount is an approximation to the sum which we believe to be necessary. The noble Lord's question, however, applies to the appropriation of the 7,000l. a year granted to each institution. Of course, I cannot bind myself to all the details; but I think it right, before public money is voted out of the Consolidated Fund, that Parlia- 1039 ment should be in the possession of the views of Her Majesty's Government as to the general appropriation of this sum. We contemplate a provision for each institution of a president and vice president. The maximum salary for the president will be about 700l. a year; the maximum salary for the vice president will be about 400l. a year. Then we contemplate from twelve to fourteen professors for each College, and the sum awarded to each I should say ought not to be less than 200l., nor more than 300l. a year. There will be, in addition, the librarian, the bursar, and the college servants. For the librarian the salary will be about 200l. a year; for the bursar about 100l. a year, and for the college servants about 300l. a year; making together an annual sum of about 5,000l. There will remain a surplus of about 2,000l. Now the House will remember that as these are infant institutions, it will be necessary to provide for a library, astronomical instruments, and a scientific apparatus for experiments. It is our intention, if we are allowed to carry this plan into execution, to provide in the Charter of Incorporation for an annual public examination of the students, and we should recommend that to the students of the first year, to the number of twenty, who shall, at the public examination, evince the greatest proficiency there shall be given a premium of 20l. each. Again, there will be a public examination in the second as well as the first year, and we propose to give to those who shall then distinguish themselves, to the number of about twenty, premiums of 25l. each. There will also be an examination in the third year; and, probably, the last year of the collegiate education, with an exhibition of not less than 30l. to twenty students. This will require from 1,000l. to 1,500l. a year. As I have stated, therefore, there will be the annual expenditure of 5,000l., exclusive, during the three years required by the curriculum, of sums annually awarded for exhibitions for those who for their qualifications shall have distinguished themselves, of 20l. 25l. or 30l., and exclusive also, for founding a library and providing scientific apparatus, of an annual sum to be expended under the direction of the governing body. I do not mean by this statement to fix the Government to 300l. or 400l.; but for the object of the inquiry made by the noble Lord, I hope the information I have given will, for all present purposes, be sufficient. And this brings me to another point, on which a question 1040 was asked, not, as I think, by the noble Lord the Member for London, but by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dungarvon (Mr. Sheil); it is a point to which I know great importance is attached, and to which the hon. Gentleman the Member for the county of Limerick (Mr. Smith O'Brien), when he addressed the House, partly referred. In opening to the House the reasons which induced Her Majesty's Government to propose this measure in its present form, I stated that the principle on which the measure was founded was not to compel any religious tests to be taken by the governing body, by the students, or by any one connected with the Colleges. To that principle, I and my Colleagues steadily adhere; but, at the same time, when we consented to the exclusion of every religious test, we did consider whether ample precautions could not be secured by Statute to prevent the professors from abusing their power, and endeavouring to sap the faith of the students placed under them for instruction. In the absence of any religious test, we considered that no security could be devised at once so valid and so unexceptionable as the appointment of all persons connected with these institutions by the responsible advisers of the Crown, who will be responsible for those appointments to the Parliament. In all analogous cases, this rule has been maintained; and, speaking generally, where the State grants the endowment, the Crown has the appointment. It is so with the Regius Professors in the English Universities; and with respect to the Regius Professors in the Universities in Scotland and, speaking generally, the rule has been that where the State endows, the Crown nominates. I am not, therefore, prepared to alter that arrangement with reference to the President and Vice President of these Colleges. I think, also, that the first nomination, when it it will be necessary to give the first momentum to the new machine, should be on the advice given to the Crown by the responsible persons entrusted with the Government. With respect to the future appointment of professors, I am not unwilling to meet the wishes of hon. Gentlemen opposite to a limited extent. I have already said, that in the appointment of the President and Vice President, lam not disposed to make any change; but, if it shall be the pleasure of the House, I shall not be unwilling, in the case of the professors after the year 1848, that is, after three years from the foundation of the 1041 Colleges, that Parliament shall reconsider the mode in which the professors shall be appointed. I am quite willing, when the Colleges shall have been in operation for three years, that the whole question as to the appointment of the professors shall be reconsidered by Parliament; and when I say, after the measure shall have been in operation for three years, it cannot be supposed that, as if by magic, these Colleges when founded and established, will come at once into active operation, or that this can be till after the lapse of a very considerable time. I think, therefore, that if the appointment of professors be reconsidered after three years, everything that can be fairly demanded will have been conceded. It will be a concession which is, I think, of considerable importance, and to which I have before adverted. I have said why I take the period of three years, because within that period the Colleges, though founded, will not come into active operation. I adhere to the opinion that this measure will be incomplete unless these Colleges are combined in some University. In my opinion, the want of degrees in law, in arts, and in sciences to be granted to the students in these Colleges must necessarily be supplied by an University. Not only is there nothing in this Bill to forbid such an arrangement, but more, it decidedly contemplated it. If the University shall examine for degrees, the examiners will be appointed under the prerogative of the Crown, as in the London University; and, to apply the ulterior arrangement of an University to the change I shall propose, if an University shall be established it will be a natural arrangement that the governing body shall have the power of recommending to the Crown, as the various professorships in the Colleges shall become vacant, those whom, after examination or otherwise, they shall deem best fit by merit to fill the chairs, preserving always to the Crown a veto. I now come to a very important provision, framed with the view of meeting what appears to me the general opinion of the House, for the moral control of the students in those Colleges sent from the care of their guardians and parents into the heart of a large town. To meet the deficiency in the present Bill, the Clauses which have been printed have been framed; and I think that if the House will favour me with a perusal of those Clauses they will think the provision for the moral control will be perfect. The young men will reside with their parents and guard- 1042 ians, or under persons selected by their parents and guardians; and if not, they will be congregated in boarding houses or halls. When the students reside with their parents and guardians, no further control over their moral and religious instruction can possibly be desirable; the parents and guardians are the natural persons to be entrusted with this control, and the interference of the State will be worse than superfluous. If they reside with persons selected by the parents and guardians, it, will be desirable and necessary that some caution should be used. The House will see that a license will be required by the persons allowed to take in boarders, even with the consent of the parents and guardians. There is a provision for revoking this license, and, as it is to be renewed each year, there will be an annual revision by the governing body. With respect to the halls, every encouragement is given by this Bill to their foundation. Incorporation is contemplated, and in their incorporated character they may receive loans from the Board of Works in aid of their foundation. The choice of the principals of these halls, and the rules and regulations, will be made under the immediate control of the visitors. And this brings me to the important question, who are to be those visitors? This is a point on which I cannot bind the existing or any future Government; but I do not hesitate to say that I consider the moral and religious instruction of the youth in those Colleges will materially depend upon the rules and conduct of these halls, and that it will be necessary to give great power of control to the visitors. The power of appointing the principals is to be vested in the visitors, and no rule with respect to their guidance and administration is to be carried into effect without the consent of the visitors. Then comes the question, who are to be the visitors? I confess, not binding in terms (and it is impossible for me to bind) future Governments, my own view and the view of my Colleagues is, that in selecting the visitors the heads of the religious establishments in each quarter should be taken: for instance, in Belfast the bishop of the Established Church in that diocese, an eminent Presbyterian clergyman possessing the confidence of that body, and also the Roman Catholic bishop; so also at Cork — the Roman Catholic bishop of the district, and the Protestant bishop; and generally it would be desirable for the Crown to appoint as visitors 1043 those possessing ecclesiastical control in the district, and enjoying the confidence of the large body of the particular religious persuasion of the district. I have now answered all the questions put to me, I think, with the exception of the question put by the right hon. Member for Dungarvon, and pressed also by the hon. Member for Limerick—are we prepared to appoint a chaplain, to be paid by the State, and to officiate within the College? After giving to that question the best consideration in our power, I and my Colleagues are of opinion that any such appointment for religious duties to be performed within the College is decidedly at variance with the principle of this Bill, and to any such arrangement we are decidedly opposed. We cannot hold out the least prospect that upon that point we shall be prepared to make any concession whatever; I should be deceiving the House if I said otherwise. Now, I am not aware that I have omitted to answer any question of importance that has been put; and I do not think that in this stage of the discussion, when a very important point is about to be raised by the noble Member for Hertford, it would be expedient for me voluntarily to introduce doubtful matters, which would lead to debate; and, therefore, reserving to myself the right of answering any of that noble Lord's arguments, I think it best now to conclude by moving that you do now leave the Chair.
Lord J. Russell
There is one point, I think, not exactly explained. The right hon. Gentleman was asked with regard to the future appointment of professors, and I understood him just now to state that that is a matter to be reconsidered by Parliament in 1848; but I do not quite understand whether that is to be left open to the consideration of Parliament by a clause, and the power of the Crown to cease when Parliament has supplied that want, or whether any mode is proposed by which the future arrangement, whether by appointment of a board of examiners or otherwise, should be enacted in this Bill.
§ Sir J. Graham
Obviously it will suggest itself, in the first instance, without consideration, that it would be desirable to leave in suspense the power of appointment until 1848, with a view of securing some reconsideration by Parliament; but the noble Lord will find that that course is impossible. This Bill contemplates a charter of incorporation for the foundation of each College, and a corporation must be 1044 a body of a permanent and enduring character; the charter of incorporation, therefore, cannot contemplate any contingency by which any of its members shall cease to be appointed. To meet that difficulty, which is of a legal nature, I shall propose the 10th Clause in this form:—Provided always, and be it enacted, that no College shall be entitled to the benefit of this Act, unless it be declared and provided by the letters patent constituting the same, that the visitor or visitors of the said College shall be such person or persons as it shall please Her Majesty, Her heirs and successors, to appoint from time to time by warrant under the Sign Manual; and that all the statutes, rules, and ordinances concerning the government of such College shall be made or approved by Her Majesty, Her heirs, and successors; and that the President, Vice President, and Professors in the said College shall hold their several offices during the pleasure of Her Majesty, her heirs and successors; and that the sole power of appointing the President and Vice President shall be vested in Her Majesty, Her heirs and successors; and that the power of appointing the Professors shall be vested in Her Majesty, Her heirs and successors, until the end of the year 1848, and afterwards as it shall be otherwise provided by Parliament; or, in default of any provision to the contrary, in Her Majesty, Her heirs and successors.The noble Lord will see that that contemplates a revision by Parliament; but it was necessary to provide, failing such revision, for the continuance of the power of appointment in the Crown.
§ Lord Mahon
rose to bring forward as an Amendment the Resolution of which he had given notice:—That it is the opinion of this House, that in the establishment of Colleges in Ireland, provision should be made for the religious instruction of the Pupils, by means of Lecture Fees, till such time as private benefactions for that object may have taken effect.The noble Lord, in admitting the advantages of academical education for Ireland, and thanking the Government for attempting to promote it, felt bound, nevertheless, to assert the principle, that without religious and moral culture no education was of any real value. What was the course proposed in that respect in the Bill before the House? In the 15th Clause, it was provided that it should be lawful to give or bequeath lands or money for the purposes of religious instruction in these Colleges. In Clause C. of the amended Bill there was likewise a similar provision. But what security was there held out that 1045 any such benefactions would be made at all; still less that they would be made within any known, or fixed, or definite period of time? So far, therefore, as religious instruction was concerned, the Bill was left wholly dependent upon private charity—a foundation on which he maintained that it should never be suffered to rest for its support. But he would go even farther: he should object to the establishment of religious education upon that footing, even if the anticipation of the promoters of the measure took effect. Even if it could be proved to him that within one year from the passing of this measure, ample subscriptions would be received, and sufficient religious instruction be provided; he should even then object to the precedent, and fear lest it might hereafter be urged with irresistible force in cases where the contingency of such private benefactions might be infinitely smaller. Let them only consider how such a precedent, even now, would be viewed by those whom it chiefly affected. It was very well for them to lament the religious differences that prevailed in Ireland, and to assert that religious instruction was prevented by those unhappy differences, and by them alone; but how would the absence of such instruction appear to the pupils themselves? It would be as if the heads of the College were thus to address them:—"Astronomy is of great value; here we have a skilful astronomer to teach you. Latin must not be neglected; an excellent scholar is provided you, and you must attend him punctually. The lectures on anatomy, too, are most valuable; mind that you are there every day at twelve o'clock. But, as to religion, that is no affair of ours; deal with it as you please, or as you can; learn it anywhere, or nowhere, or not at all." He did not mean to state that the professors would say so in words; nor did he ascribe to them any such indifference as to religious truth; but such would be the inference drawn infallibly by the pupils. Then the 14th Clause, to which an Amendment was to be moved, had words to the effect that no student should be compelled to attend theological lectures, or religious exercises of any kind whatever. To these words, he entertained the strongest objection; but he admitted, at the same time, that the Amendment which, as he understood, the Government had in view, would entirely remove that part of the evil. He would also willingly admit that the other Amendments of his right hon. Friend (Sir James Gra- 1046 ham) went a long way in the right direction to remove the obnoxious portions of the Bill. But, at the same time that he did so, he would maintain that these ameliorations should be no reason either with the Government or with the House, against making any further improvement which should be deemed practicable, for the purpose of giving a religious character to the measure. The argument used by his right hon. Friend at the head of the Government a few days previously was, that even if, from the peculiar circumstances of Ireland, it was found impossible to afford religious instruction by authority, as should be done in England and in Scotland; yet that even then the instruction of the pupils in the sublime discoveries of modern science was in itself, an immense advantage. He (Lord Mahon) would admit the advantage, if the system of explaining these discoveries were to find the pupils in the same position as at first. But how stood the fact? In the great majority of cases, the pupils would have to leave their homes to attend the Colleges; they would come from distant parts of Ulster to Belfast—from distant parts of Connaught to Limerick or Gal way; thus you summon them from their own religious pastors, and make no religious provision for them when they come; you take away parental care, and yet you do not substitute academic rule. And while he was on this part of the subject, he would call the attention of the House and of his right hon. Friend to an able letter from the Rev. Dr. Cahill, the head of a Roman Catholic seminary at Blackrock, Ireland, which had appeared recently in the Irish papers, and in which was pointed out in detail by extracts from several celebrated lectures, and from the Bridgewater Treatises, how prone were professors at Universities, and expounders of science, to indulge in reflections, however unconnected with the subject before them, against the religious feelings of Roman Catholics, or other religious persuasions different from their own. Another argument used by his right hon. Friend the Home Secretary on a former occasion was, that the proposed Colleges would be founded on the same principle as the national schools in Ireland, the only difference being that they were adapted to students of a different age, and perhaps of a higher class. He had heard that statement with great surprise from a Minister so intimately acquainted with Irish affairs as his right hon. Friend; and he doubted whether he would 1047 find himself able to support that opinion. The principle, notwithstanding the religious differences in Ireland, of the system of national education, was to enjoin religious instruction; but the system now proposed was the very reverse, for it said that they should not deal with religious instruction at all. In the national schools the attempt was made to give religious instruction: be it wisely or unwisely, successfully, or unsuccessfully, the attempt was made; but in the present measure any such attempt was most expressly disclaimed. If he wished for any confirmation of what he believed had been the design of national schools in Ireland, he could find it in the words of that Minister who was at the head of affairs when that measure was proposed, and therefore was in a peculiar degree answerable for its success. What was the statement of Earl Grey in another place? He said, on the 22nd March, 1832—The question was, were they to have a system of national education or not? A system of education, as applied to Ireland, to be national, must not exclude the Catholics, who formed the great majority of the population. The intention, then, ex vi termini, must be that Catholics should be admitted. But they could not be admitted, if conditions were imposed upon them contrary to their religious faith. The indiscriminate use of the Bible, without note or comment, was objected to by them. It was proposed, therefore, that for four days in the week, the education should be moral and literary, not excluding such selections from the Bible as might be agreed upon; and that, during the remaining two days, and even before and after school hours on the other four, the children might receive the instruction of their respective churches, in addition to the regular attendance at divine worship on the Sabbath. Could it be said with truth that, in doing this, the use of the Bible was excluded?"—But if this could not be said truly of Lord Grey's scheme, might it not be said, with at least some appearance of truth, of the present Bill. Lord Grey went on to state—I claim credit for the whole of the King's Ministers, for myself, and emphatically for my right hon. Friend the Secretary for Ireland, (now Lord Stanley) who introduced this plan, as bearing as true an affection for the Church, as feeling as deeply for the interests of our holy religion, as any man who hears me;"—and Lord Grey deprecated any system of education in which religion should not hold a prominent part. That was not like this project. He did not know 1048 whether he could possibly quote words of more force and eloquence than those which had been used by Lord Stanley, some years afterwards, when reviewing the whole subject, and unfolding the rules which should direct any system of national education. On the 14th of June, 1839, Lord Stanley said in this House—He was not contending for the absolute control of the Church over education; but that education, whether of the members of that Church or of Dissenters, was not a thing apart from religion. But it was a thing necessarily combined with religion, and necessarily dependent on religion—a thing of which religious doctrine and religious faith must be made the ground and motive. He was contending that education was not a thing apart and separate from religion; but that religion should be interwoven with all systems of education, controlling and regulating the whole minds, habits, and principles of the persons receiving instruction.He (Lord Mahon) concurred in these sentiments. He had concurred in them formerly; he concurred in them still. He thought that religious instruction must form a part of every system of education — a part not left to chance, not relying on accident—but connected with the act" necessarily"—for he would adopt Lord Stanley's own word. They must not depend on private benefactions; in every well-regulated system of education, religion must not be the outwork, the superstructure, but, as Lord Stanley said, the "ground and motive." Could this, then, be called a new opinion, that in education they must blend religious with secular instruction? It was an opinion which had been held by the greatest men from all the creeds into which our common Christianity is unhappily divided. It had been held by such men as Hooker, or as Wesley, as Pascal or as Fenelon. Nay, our own debates afford another proof how prevalent is that opinion. Why should those debates have taken place at all, if they had felt themselves at liberty to pass by the difficulty, and, on account of the conflict between religious sects, omit religious instruction altogether? That was a plain and easy course; but the mere fact of those discussions was enough to prove that they did not feel themselves at liberty to deal with education as the Government now proposed to treat it. If, then, the advantage of religious instruction was felt to be essential in every system of State education, the question remained, was there anything in the state of Ireland to forbid its application? What were the systems which they 1049 could pursue in Ireland? First, they could adopt that system which he thought should be pursued, without doubt or hesitation, in every country where a large proportion of the people held the sentiments of the Established Church. In all such cases he would endow religious teachers in connexion with that Church, and leave the other to themselves. In countries where there were scarcely any differences of religious faith, as in Protestant Sweden or Catholic Spain, there would be no difficulty in religious endowments; but in a country like Ireland, where there was so much religious discord, and where the adherents of the Established Church were but a minority, the plan of endowing them alone would be altogether unsatisfactory and insufficient; and a different course must be adopted. Then, secondly, they might have a system of concurrent endowment. The State might appoint at the same time religious teachers of the Protestant and Roman Catholic faith; and in the province of Ulster, also, Presbyterian teachers. He, however, was bound to state that if such a proposition had been contained in the present Bill, he should have opposed it. He did not think that such a plan could be carried out, without the strongest feeling of repugnance on the part of the people of this country, as it would be generally regarded as a step towards the endowment of the Roman Catholic Church of Ireland. That question of endowment ought not to be mooted on a point comparatively small; it would provoke nearly the same hostility as the scheme of endowing the whole priesthood; while at the same time it would not profess or promise any thing like the same amount of advantage. Nay more, any such proposal would have laid the Government and Legislature open to the charge of attempting to do that indirectly by a side-wind and evasion, which they dared not propose openly and clearly. He (Lord Mahon) giving at this time no opinion on the greater question, would only say, that he put aside, as wholly unadvisable and impracticable for the proposed Colleges, the schemes of endowing religious instruction either for the Church alone, or concurrently with the Roman Catholics. There then remained the specific plan which he was about to state, namely, the payment of religious teachers by lecture fees from the pupils themselves. He would not rest this plan on any vague generalities; but he would state explicitly every detail which he had in view. He 1050 thought there should be in each College professors of theological instruction—one for the members of the Established Church, another for the Roman Catholics; and in the provincial College for Ulster he would have a third professor for the Presbyterians. It was, he thought, very correctly stated by his right hon. Friend the Home Secretary the other evening, that where the State endowed, the Crown should appoint. But since there would be no endowment by the State, the Crown could clearly have no claim to the appointment of these theological professors. He would, therefore, propose that those theological teachers should not be named by any act of the Crown, but that the theological professor for the Established Church should be named by the bishop of the diocese; that the Roman Catholic professor should be named by the Roman Catholic bishop; and that, in the College of Belfast, the Presbyterian professor should be named by the Synod of Ulster. He would not require any student to attend any one particular course of lectures; but he would require, as a general rule of the College, that each student should be obliged to produce a certificate from some one or other of the theological professors, that he did attend the lectures of that particular professor. He thought, nevertheless, that a power of special exemption should vest in the board of visitors. In the first place an exemption should, he considered, be granted to all separatists of every class, or all those who, on religious views, objected to attend the religious lectures of any of the professors. This general exemption, however, in favour of separatists who would refuse attending the lectures of either the Protestant, the Roman Catholic, or the Presbyterian theological professors, would not, he thought, in Ireland exceed one or two in a hundred. He also considered that the board might grant an exemption in other cases. For instance, he would suppose the case of the son of a clergyman of the Established Church, residing in the town in which the College might be situated, and who should not have the cure of souls, to prevent him from attending to the religious education of his children. The son of such a man—of a clergyman, competent and willing to superintend the religious education of his child—might, he thought, have a special exemption made in his behalf. But every instance of special exemption must be subject to a fixed and invariable rule—that in no case should there be any payment 1051 of lecture fees where, from any circumstances, the lectures themselves had not been attended. He should be for leaving the amount of lecture fees to be fixed by the board of visitors: for though the board would not have the nomination of the professors, still it would be essential that it should have a general superintendence and control over them as to their conduct and discipline. Supposing that there were 100 students, each paying a fee of 3l. or even of 2l. 10s. per annum, they would have an endowment for a theological chair equal to that of the non-theological professorship. It was most probable, that at the outset, the number of pupils, and consequently the endowment of the theological chairs, would be very small, and by no means sufficient to afford fair remuneration to the teachers; but still he did not think that circumstance would operate very seriously against their obtaining, even at the outset, men of the very highest character and attainments as theological professors. Such a circumstance was every day occurring in public offices. Young men of high prospects and attainments were constantly found ready to accept clerkships of most inadequate salary, of, perhaps, 80l. or 100l. a year—not that this remuneration would suffice—but because they knew that with proper attention to their duties their posts would necessarily lead them by degrees to others of higher emolument; and finally constitute for them a liberal provision for life. He felt it but justice to Her Majesty's Government to express, in conclusion, his feelings as to their motives in introducing the present measure. His belief was, that they had been influenced by no party motives, but rather by an anxiety to heal and allay the strife of party which had so long existed among all classes of the Irish people. Sir, said the noble Lord, I am far, indeed, from undervaluing the advantages of conciliation. From my early years, I was an adherent of Roman Catholic Emancipation; and I am sure that at the present time there is no political object nearer to my heart than to see those millions in Ireland who are unhappily estranged from us on religious faith, or national feeling, brought to regard with affection and with confidence, the English people and the United Parliament. But, rely upon it, conciliation will not be truly effectual, if, as in the first and unamended draft of the present Bill, you do not strive to deal with religious differences, but only to keep them out of view. Rely upon it, 1052 conciliation, to be permanent, or to be praiseworthy, must show that while we respect the principles of others, we are no less determined to maintain our own.
§ Mr. Wyse
Seconded the Amendment. He thought that religious education should be essentially combined with academical instruction, and, at the same time, that it should be communicated without violating in any manner the religious opinions of any other human being. He had already stated in that House his opinion that in order to give an effectual religious education there should be no interference with the belief or prejudices of any individual. Holding always in view the necessity of religious instruction as the basis and foundation of all education, they were called upon to adapt that principle to the necessities of Ireland. There were various trials in that country of different systems, all of them more or less partaking of a proselytising tendency. From the period when all education, except such as was conveyed on the principle of Protestant ascendency, was declared illegal—from the time when the Charter School system was held out as the only one deserving of countenance, and the establishment of the Association for the Discouragement of Vice, down to the destruction of the Kildare Place Society, there was but one object in view, namely, the proselyising of Ireland to the doctrines of the Established Church. But when, at length, the principle was established of allowing the Catholics to be placed on an equality in regard to their religion and education with the remainder of their fellow subjects, it was found necessary to take into consideration the propriety of adopting a system of education in accordance with the altered state of the law. After much trouble and discussion, both in the House of Lords, and by various votes in that House, the Legislature gave its sanction to a system of education which combined instruction in the same rooms, and under the same rules, of Catholic and Protestant children. That system recognised not only the necessity of religious education, according to the respective creeds of the individuals receiving it, but required such instruction to be the basis of all the education imparted, and that too, conveyed through the medium of selected scriptural lessons. [Sir J. Graham: Certainly not.] He was glad to be corrected by the right 1053 hon. Baronet, as he had been certainly under the impression that the fact was as he had described it. At all events a great step in the progress of education had been made. They had arrived at a system of conveying mixed education to individuals of different religious communions. They had admitted the importance of religious education, and they were now called upon, by all means, to carry out that principle in the new institutions which they were about founding. Now, he for one, while he admitted fully the importance of religious education in elementary schools, was equally alive to its necessity in the Colleges founded for the more advanced students. In fact, of the two he considered the latter institution the more important in that respect. The youth educated there arrived at a period of life when the battle necessary to be fought became stronger—when the intelligence was more active, and became more liable to be misdirected. But he was not, at the same time, the less sensible of the difficulty of parting from the principle already recognised, and introducing a totally new principle in education, more especially in a country like Ireland, and with a legislature constituted in the manner in which the Imperial Parliament was composed. He would go much further in the new Colleges than mere catechetical instruction. He thought it a matter of great importance that the pupil should know perfectly the operation of opinions at different times, as well in the history of Europe, as in that of his own country. Taken in this view, the religious education in the new Colleges would go considerably beyond the usual catechetical instruction. In that respect, therefore, he was most anxious for the foundation of chairs for that most important branch of education. His noble Friend, in moving the Amendment, had stated three different modes by which these religious chairs might be substantially, effectually, and permanently established in the new Colleges. First, by endowment by the Stale; secondly, by endowment by individuals, or societies, or communities; and, thirdly, by fees paid by the pupils themselves. With regard to the first of these modes, considering the difficulties which existed in the way of its adoption, and the nature of the instruction to be given, he was not so sanguine as to hope that it could be 1054 carried into effect. He did not think, because the State had already established Catholic chaplaincies in gaols and workhouses, or even because they had brought forward the Maynooth grant, that they would not now be adopting a different plan in endowing theological chairs in these Colleges. He believed it would be of advantage that these chairs should be endowed by the several bodies to which they would be attached. He heard every day the strongest panegyrics passed on the voluntary principle in Ireland. He heard it stated on all hands that clergy under the control of the State were likely to be influenced by the Government; while, on the other side, it was said that where the State endowed professorships, they ought to be subjected to its control. Taking these two statements combined, he would, in order to make the theological professors as effectual as possible, call on the Catholic community to come forward for the purpose of endowing these chairs themselves. But though this was perhaps the most eligible course in reference to the chairs for the three communions of Protestants, Catholics, and Presbyterians; still it was not likely to be carried into execution immediately. He could not, however, but hope that the liberality, the zeal, and the enthusiasm that belonged to the Catholic body, and more especially to the Catholic clergy, would induce them not to leave so important a portion of education without the necessary support and co-operation. Judging from what he saw of the state of society generally, he did not think there was at this moment any communion in the Empire who were more zealously devoted to education than the Roman Catholics. Many of the Catholic clergy devoted their whole lives to education; and he had visited with the greatest satisfaction institutions forwarded by religious communities of that persuasion for the education of youth. But in order that there should not exist any hiatus, or interval, between the establishment of the Colleges and the period when religious instruction would be conveyed in them, he was willing to adopt the third course suggested by the noble Lord, namely, the providing by fees for the endowment of theological chairs. He did not think, under the circumstances, that there would be any great hardship to the pupil in being obliged to pay these fees, and it 1055 would prevent any heavy tax being placed on the community. They would thus be able to avoid a State endowment. They would insure religious instruction to the pupils. They would insure that instruction at a low rate. They would at the same time not impose it as a permanent tax on the students; but would be merely adopting it as a conditional arrangement to exist only until some better and more regular provision was established. He should, therefore, rejoice if it met with the general wishes of the House. It violated no principle; it excited no prejudices; while it, at the same time, amply secured the benefits of religious instruction to the pupils. Having said so much on this part of the subject, he would with reluctance trespass further on the attention of the House. He wished, however, to say a few words on what had been said on a former occasion, in reference to what he believed had been merely a lapsus linguæ on the part of the right hon. Gentleman (Sir James Graham), namely, as to the intention of the Government to exclude religious education under the Bill. He felt that the term required explanation, and when the Bill was brought before the House the right hon. Baronet declared that rooms should be provided for giving religious instruction, and that every facility should be afforded to any theological professors who might be appointed by the respective persuasions. That there was, in fact, no prohibition or exclusion of religious education farther than the refusal to advance the pounds, shillings, and pence, for the purpose of endowing the chairs. He did not wish to be made appear to be that which he was not—a person desirous of excluding religious instruction. He did not wish by any vote which he would give in that House to induce his countrymen to suppose that he had merited any of the reproaches that had been so lavishly heaped upon him elsewhere. He was sure his hon. Friend near him (Mr. J. O'Connell), in his comments upon him was in error more in head than in heart. It was objected that he was disposed to resist the demand made by the Catholic bishops, that the professors of anatomy and geology should be Catholics. Every well-constituted mind must be disposed to defer to the authority of men so venerable for their piety, knowledge, and talents, and so highly esteemed as the Roman Catholic prelates of Ireland; but still he could not but feel 1056 that if he sanctioned the opinions put forward by them on this subject, and consented that they should have the control of the professors which he had named, there would be a difficulty in deciding where their influence was to terminate. If they yielded to the demand of the Catholic bishops in the appointment of the professors of anatomy and geology, how soon might they not have similar demands made with respect to the appointments to the chairs of mathematics, of languages, or even of writing, until at last they arrived at the position for which the hon. Member contended, namely, no mixed education at all in Ireland. The hon. Member had not objected to mixed education by any open and fair declaration that such a system ought not to be suffered; but he had done so by throwing obstacles in the way of its progress, and by raising difficulties regarding it in the minds of many of those who heard him. He did not charge the hon. Member with having that object in view; but he stated that to be in his opinion the result of the hon. Gentleman's efforts and arguments. He had objected to the formation of a board for each province, which would include, ex officio, the bishops of the diocese, only to the extent of stating that he was not prepared to pronounce any decided opinion as to how it would work; but that he should fear that in a mixed college, the machine would not only be a difficult one to set in action, but would not be worked either with advantage to the ecclesiastial laity, or the institutions themselves. For giving this opinion he was accused of being in a stale approaching to that of not being a Catholic at all, and reminded that he was bound to respect the decision of his bishops on such points as these, and that if he found reason to quarrel with them, his appeal was not to the British Parliament, but to Rome. But he would wish the hon. Member to consider the position in which Ireland had been placed heretofore. If mixed education were as it was represented to be, immoral, and injurious to the people of Ireland, how did it come to pass that the Catholic hierarchy remained silent as to the admission of Catholic pupils into Trinity College, where no religious instruction was provided for them? There might have been, for aught he knew, conversations and discussions on this subject on the part of individuals; but he certainly never did hear from the Catholic 1057 hierarchy, or from any individual among them, an objection to the Catholics in that University. Again, how were they to deal with the medical students? Were there no Protestant professors of anatomy in the medical schools of Cork or Dublin? If the principle which the hon. Member laid down were a proper and just principle, then, the Catholic hierarchy and clergy had a right to interfere, and prevent their students from attending the lectures of those professors. But he judged better of the Catholic hierarchy of Ireland than to suppose them capable of such conduct. He considered them to be anxious for education in Ireland. He considered them to be men anxious to extend the blessings of a sound and religious education among the youth of Ireland. He believed them anxious for the amelioration of the condition of all classes in that country, while they were determined, at the same time, to prevent any interference with the religious opinions of their flocks. They were bound to prevent any contamination of the youth of Ireland, over whom they were placed; but he, at the same time, thought that they would not be justified in throwing on any individual who differed from them an insinuation of infidelity, merely because he did not conform to their views. But the hon. Gentleman went on to say—In the course of a speech in the House of Commons, Mr. Wyse had quoted M. Cousin on the subject of mixed education. Now, who was that M. Cousin—the man who had been set up as one of the brilliant luminaries—one of the gods of the gigantic education scheme in France? He held in his hand a description of M. Cousin, which had not been contradicted, and which was irrefutable. He approached the reading of it with feelings of horror and disgust, so atrocious was the conduct attributed to M. Cousin. But he would let the Association judge for themselves, and form their own estimate as to the value to be placed on the opinions referred to by Mr. Wyse.Now, what were the words which he used on that occasion? The language which came from his lips on that occasion was this:—There is no class in the Prussian Gymnasia which has not a course of religious instruction, as it has of classical or mathematical instruction. I have before said, and now repeat, that worship with its ceremonies can never be sufficient for young men who reflect, and who are imbued with the spirit of the times. A true religious instruction is indispensable, and no subject is better adapted to 1058 a regular, full, and varied instruction than Christianity, with a history which goes back to the beginning of the world, and is connected with all the great events in that of the human race—with its dogmas, which breathe sublime metaphysics — its morality, which combines severity with indulgence—with its general literary monuments, from Genesis to the Universal History.This authority had been described as inimical to Christianity; but could he have used stronger language than this? He confessed that he was surprised that the hon. Member had described M. Cousin in the manner in which he did. The hon. Member had also stated that the Prussian system of education was nothing but infidelity in disguise. Those who made this charge had not looked into the subject with due care. If Gentlemen had taken the trouble to do so, they would find that the same system of private religious instruction existed in several other countries besides Prussia. It existed not merely in Prussia, but in Belgium, in Austria, in Bavaria, and, indeed, throughout most parts of the Continent. This was not only the case in the Colleges, but in the elementary and higher schools, and it was always found that ample means existed for private religious instruction. He happened, also, to know that this religious instruction was effective and well given he had seen it with his own eyes, and heard it with his own ears, and he had never heard better religious instruction given than in some of those Colleges, and this he also knew was the opinion of many high authorities in the Catholic Church. Although there might be abuses in some of the arrangements in some of these institutions, he believed that they would be generally found to arise from an abuse of the law, and not that it arose from anything in the institutions themselves. He believed that many of the errors of those who had alluded to his opinions on this subject in such strong terms, had arisen from not inquiring into the facts of the case. If they had regarded with attention the facts of the case, they would have been much more competent to legislate on the subject, and no doubt would have dealt more in a spirit of charity and toleration with those who differed from them. The hon. Gentleman had called him a professed Catholic—let him assure the hon. Gentleman that Christian charity much more consisted in indulgence to the opinions of others than in extreme earnestness to bring 1059 charges against those who differed from him; and that it did not exist in the use of contumelious terms such as Waterford Wyse the Anythingarian. In conclusion, to use the language of an eminent man—If it were not that there are many who are homines multæ religionis, nullius pæne pietatis, it would not be that there should be so many quarrels in and concerning that religion which is wholly made up of truth and peace.This quotation was from Jeremy Taylor, when Bishop of Down, and was in the preface to a sermon preached before the students of Trinity College, Dublin, in 1661, to show how the scholar might become more learned and useful. Such language and such a sentiment should be engraved in golden and prominent characters.
§ Mr. John O'Connell
, having been personally alluded to, wished to say a few words in answer to what had fallen from the hon. Member for Waterford. He would not then enter into the general consideration of the Bill, because he was in hopes that the right hon. Baronet would give them twenty-four hours to consider the purport of the Amendments which he proposed to adopt in it, and which he had for the first time explained that night, and if this was the case he should be better prepared to go into the subject. The hon. Member for Waterford had replied to an attack which had been made upon him elsewhere, and had complained that that attack had been made in his absence. He (Mr. J. O'Connell) as the person who had made it, would only say he had done so in the place where his constituents desired him to attend, and where the constituents of the hon. Member wished him also to be; and if the latter was absent from that place it was his own fault. He repeated that the hon. Member had been often called on to attend Conciliation Hall, to which place he (Mr. J. O'Connell) had hitherto confined his attendance, believing that his duty to his constituents bound him so to do. He, therefore, had no other place to express his opinions, and under all these circumstances he did not think he was open to the charge of having taken any unfair advantage. The expressions attributed to him by the hon. Member were not altogether correct: he had not charged him with not being a Catholic, but with being in a state very nearly approaching to that of not being a Catholic. The impression on his mind was, that those were 1060 the words he used; but if the House were aware of the pressure of business in Conciliation Hall, they would know how difficult it was to ensure a literally accurate report. However he would repeat, that when the hon. Member, on such a question, set himself up in opposition to the decision of the bishops, he was very nearly not being a Catholic at all—certainly he was in the state of a schismatic Catholic. The hon. Gentleman stated that he (Mr. J. O'Connell) was not his pope. He did not pretend to possess any authority over the hon. Gentleman; but he merely referred to the authority of the prelates of his Church, and to their decision, which the hon. Member resisted. The question then was, who was the hon. Member's pope, when he denied the authority of the Church? Who had the chief authority in Ireland on this question with the Catholics, but the Catholic prelates? Indeed he had said in the speech quoted—Every Catholic likewise was bound to respect the decisions of his bishops on such points as these, and if he found reason to quarrel with his bishops, his appeal was not to the British Parliament, but to Rome.Even if they were all professing and practical Catholics, the British House of Commons was not the place of appeal. The hon. Gentleman, however, brought his appeal to the House of Commons, knowing what an effect it would produce there to have a Catholic gentleman resisting his prelates' authority. He was willing to pay every tribute to the attainments, the character, and abilities of the hon. Member; but surely the hon. Member must be aware of the extreme importance of the declaration of the authorities of the Catholic Church, and that objections made by them against the Government education scheme ought not to be designated as petty and insignificant.
§ Mr. John O'Connell
He (Mr. O'Connell) made no objections of his own—he stood on the bishops' resolutions. He had his own opinion on the subject of mixed and separate education, but he need not go into that question on the present occasion. Here, however, they had the declaration of the Catholic bishops on the subject of this measure, and which he believed to be the supreme authority on the subject in Ireland, and from which 1061 the only appeal was to the sovereign pontiff in council. They declared that this measure embodied principles dangerous to the moral and religious instruction of the Irish people; and afterwards, in an audience with the Lord Lieutenant, they stated that the declaration contained the minimum of what they felt it their duty to ask. He (Mr. J. O'Connell) stood to this authority; and if the hon. Gentleman still chose to designate the objections to this Bill as being petty and insignificant, of course it must be taken as a reply to the bishops. With respect to the quotation from Cousin, he had certainly thought the hon. Member had adopted the authority of Cousin, not merely on one point connected with the subject of mixed education, but all—["No, no."] If he had done the hon. Member wrong by so doing, he was sorry for it; but certainly he had nothing to retract with respect to Cousin. As the latter had been quoted that evening, there could be no objection to quoting him again, to show how little a Catholic should respect his writings. In his work on Education in Prussia, he praises a law of 1819 which ordered Catholic priests not to administer the Holy Communion to any chidren who did not attend school. This might not perhaps seem to Protestants as very severe; but to Catholics, with their peculiar doctrines as to the Sacrament, it was monstrous. And yet M. Cousin praised this law, and called it "making religion subserve enlightenment!" The hon. Member for Waterford appeared to doubt this quotation; if he referred to vol. i., page 207 of M. Cousin's works, he would find the passage. As to the Prussian system of education, he (Mr. J. O'Connell) had never said that its adoption was attributable to Frederick II. He also did not advance any opinion of his own on this subject; but had referred to the authority of a Protestant clergyman connected with the Establishment; the Rev. Mr. Gleig, chaplain to Chelsea Hospital; and also to the works of a talented Presbyterian writer, Dr. Laing, in his "Notes of a Traveller." Both these gentlemen had written on this subject; and neither of their works showed that they entertained any prejudices in favour of Catholicism. From these works alone, unprejudiced in favour of his religious opinions, he could quote the strongest and most convincing proofs of the pernicious working of the system. He did not adduce proofs, as he 1062 might have done, from Catholic writers of the pernicious working of the system of education in Prussia. The hon. Gentleman talked to him of charity and toleration. He thought, it would be the worst kind of charity to see the hon. Gentleman abusing his influence—he believed, unintentionally—without warning him of the fatal error he was committing. The hon. Gentleman knew how strongly a majority of the Irish people were opposed to the Bill; yet he made himself a party to this attempt of the Government to force upon them a system utterly revolting to their conciences, and which was one of the grossest attacks on religion ever perpetrated. The measure was one of intolerance. The Catholics would second any claims of the Protestant or Presbyterian. All the Catholics asked was to be treated in the same manner, and not to be subjected to this outrage on their consciences, which would engender the most powerful opposition in Ireland ever offered to any Government. If its object was to put down the Repeal agitation, it would not answer its purpose; on the contrary, by divisions, it would rather unite the people of Ireland in the determination to obtain their own Parliament, which would attend to the opinions of the people and the clergy, and not allow theorists to compromise their highest interests. If passed into a law, the Bill would increase the determination of the Irish people not to be mis-legislated for in this Parliament, either by the Representatives of England, or by those who called themselves the Representatives of Ireland. He denied the charge made by the hon. Member of Waterford, that he wished to revive religious feuds in Ireland, by calling on the electors of Waterford to reject him because he was not a Catholic. From his soul he abhorred religious feuds; but he had told the Catholic electors of Waterford that the hon. Member was not representing them as Catholics—although he was a Catholic himself—was not representing their opinions. He, therefore, called on them to require the hon. Gentleman to resign, or not to re-elect him as their Representative. If there was any meaning in the term "Representative," he could not do a greater injury to his constituents than, when they were inclined to be obedient to their bishops and clergy, to use his influence in that House to resist them. In addition, also, to the Catholic bishops 1063 having made an unanimous declaration against this measure, the bishop of the hon. Member's own diocese had also done so in a separate form, as he (Mr. O'Connell) had that night presented a petition against the Bill signed by this right rev. Prelate.
§ Mr. Wyse
said, that the hon. Member had charged him with misinterpretation of his words. Now, he found in the report in the Nation, which, he believed, the hon. Member adopted:—Every Catholic was bound to respect the decison of his bishops on such points as these, and if he found reason to quarrel with his bishops, his appeal was not to the British Parliament, but to Rome. That appeal was open to Mr. Wyse, but no appeal to the British House of Legislature. It was monstrous to see a Catholic rising up to resist the unanimous resolve of his own bishops in full synod assembled. The bishops might, perhaps, have some minor differences of opinion in matters of minor importance—in matters of detail—but they were unanimous in their resolve upon this point; and yet in the English House of Commons an Irish Catholic Member stood deliberately forward and lent the influence of his name and talent to procure resistance to the just requirement of the prelates of his own Church. Mr. Wyse did not appeal to Rome, as he might have done. No; he pursued such a course as could not be otherwise designated than as a recording of his vote against his religion, and if he persisted in this course he (Mr. J. O'Connell) called on the Catholics of Waterford to require him at once to resign his seat.Was not this charging him with a violation of the articles of his faith?
§ Sir J. Graham
felt confident that he expressed the opinion of the great majority of the House, when he declared his own strong impression that this was neither the time nor the place to enter into a discussion as to what constituted a schismatic Roman Catholic, or what was the degree of allegiance which a Roman Catholic gentleman owed to his ecclesiastical superior. He was confident, also, that it must have been very painful to the House to have heard some of the observations which had fallen from the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down. He hoped and believed that the hon. Member for Kilkenny had not rightly interpreted the degree of submission which was due from every Member of the House to supreme ecclesiastical authority, when he said that the hon. Member for Waterford, in his place, discussing a measure such as the one now under consideration was bound by implicit obedience to the declared opinion of the bishops of the Church, and was not at all 1064 at liberty to exercise his own judgment in a matter which he considered not spiritual, but temporal. He must also add that he thought he expressed only what was justly due to the hon. Member for Waterford, when he said, that he, at least, towards his constituents had not been guilty of any deception whatever. He had lived the greater portion of his life, if he mistook not—for, although a political opponent, he wished to do him justice—he had lived in the immediate vicinity of Waterford, and his religious opinions, whatever they might be, were known to his constituents. So much for the orthodoxy of his Catholicity; and with respect to his political opinions on the great subject of Repeal, which unhappily agitated Ireland, to his honour be it spoken, he had ever been a friend to British connexion, as founded upon the legislative Union. He had invariably declared that opinion; and the electors of Waterford had preferred him as their Representative, well knowing his religious tenets and political opinions. And what bore more immediately on this question, he had in the most pointed, deliberate, and circumstantial manner, delivered his opinion long before the last election. On the present question, he had also declared his opinion in the most public manner. He thought the hon. Member had discharged his duty to his constituents in the most honourable manner, and he should despair of the future state of Ireland if he could believe that the hon. Member could have forfeited, for his manly and correct conduct, the confidence of his constituents. He must say, that he believed his presence here was in accordance with the opinion of his constituents. The hon. Member said, that the hon. Member for Waterford's constituents were adverse to his presence here. Why, then, had the House the pleasure of the hon. Member's own presence? However, he rejoiced at that presence, because he thought it was the discharge of an imperative duty. It was a matter of importance to have, in a discussion of this kind, the advantage of the collision of opinion of Gentlemen who generally differed; and it was by discussions of this kind, although painful, that the truth was elicited. The hon. and learned Member for Cork was present on this occasion, and would give the House the advantage of his opinion and advice on a matter of primary importance. With respect to the Motion of his noble Friend, he had long attached the greatest importance to the strict observance of the rules of the House, and his progressive expe- 1065 rience year by year taught him more and more their value and importance; and his noble Friend must excuse him for saying, that while he had adhered to the letter of the rules, he had most decidedly violated the principle on which one of them was formed. He spoke under correction when he said that he believed there was no rule of the House more distinctly recognised, or more useful in its application, or one which the Speaker would more invariably and rigidly enforce than this—that it was not competent to any Member to move, as an instruction to a Committee, any provision, which, without instruction, it would be competent for the Committee to make. That was the rule of the House. In the first instance, his noble Friend did give his Notice in the shape of an Instruction to the Committee; but he had discovered his error, although the Motion in its present form was neither more nor less than an Instruction to the Committee, which so put, would have been irregular. The observance of the rule was founded in sense and practical utility; and the departure from it on the present occasion had involved the House in extreme difficulties, to the great disadvantage of the question they were discussing. His noble Friend, in the shape of a short Resolution, had sketched a faint outline of a regulation of much importance, and he had come down to discuss this question, knowing nothing of the intentions of his noble Friend except what he had been pleased to state in the Resolution. Whether his intentions were worthy of adoption or objectionable, depended very much upon the mode in which he would carry them into execution. If, according to the strict rule, the noble Lord had not moved this as an Instruction, but had produced his plan in the authenticated form of clauses, giving effect to his intentions with all the minute details, the House would have had the advantage of understanding his plan, and would have been prepared to deliberate upon it; whereas now, in the absence of such details, the House was under the disadvantage of coming to the discussion of the question without a previous knowledge of those reservations which the noble Lord, in making the proposal, had thought it necessary to indicate. Being compelled, under this disadvantage, to come to a decision on the Motion, on the best judgment which he was able to form as to the scope and tendency of the proposal, he was bound to say that he could not give it his assent, and he must also express his surprise that the hon. Member for 1066 Waterford had seconded the Motion. The noble Lord expressly stated that it was his object to secure the appointment of theological professors in the College; the hon. Gentleman who seconded the Motion expressly and unequivocally stated that he had an insuperable objection to the appointment of theological professors. He must aver that still, after hearing the speech of the noble Lord, he remained of the opinion which he had formed on reading the terms of his Motion, that it was at least doubtful whether the attendance of the students on the theological lectures, which it was the object of this Motion to provide, should be voluntary or compulsory. If it were voluntary, the enactment was superfluous—it was superfluous under the Bill as it stood; if, on the other hand, it were compulsory, then it was directly at variance with the principle of the Bill, and he could not conceive that any one who had voted for the second reading of the Bill, could now support the Motion of his noble Friend. He had believed, until he heard the speech of the noble Lord, that the appointment of these professors was to be vested in the Crown; but he now collected from the noble Lord's speech, that it was his intention that the Roman Catholic professors should be nominated by the Roman Catholic bishop of the district. [Lord Mahon: By the Roman Catholic bishops collectively.] That the Church of England professor should be nominated by some Episcopal authority in Ireland; and that the Presbyterian professor should be nominated by Presbyterian authorities. If there were Presbyterians in Cork, was no religious instruction to be provided for them? And why was the appointment in Belfast to be confined to orthodox Presbyterians? and why were not Unitarian Presbyterians entitled to have their own professor? Then, as to the fees, were they to be compulsory on every student? If, notwithstanding the nomination of a Roman Catholic teacher by the Roman Catholic hierarchy in the College of Cork, a youth, or his parents or guardians, objected to that particular teacher, was he to have no discretion whether he attended the lectures? If he did not attend he paid no fees, and if he did attend was payment to be enforced? Then with reference to the amount. Were the fees to be thrown into a common purse to be distributed amongst the professors; or was payment to depend upon the smaller or greater number who attended? In case of the number being small, that which purported to be endowment would be illusory, 1067 and there would be no endowment to secure competent instruction. On the other hand, if the fees were to be thrown into a common purse, to be divided among the teachers, that would be a gross violation of conscience, and would give rise to the greatest objections on the part of the students. He was extremely anxious to guard the measure against the misapprehension into which it was said he had fallen in making his statement the other evening—viz., that he had made use of the expression that religious instruction was excluded by this Bill. So far from religious instruction being excluded, any Gentleman who would look at the 15th Clause, would see that every possible encouragement was given to religious lectures, and to teaching teachers in the College, to be established by private endowment. The Bill even went the length of saying that the governing body should furnish a lecture room, subject to the lecturer, not interfering with the curriculum of instruction, and subject to the approval of the Crown; and then the clause immediately preceding contemplated endowment, and afforded it every possible encouragement to parties who were disposed to found professorships. Nothing more could be done for giving religious education within the walls of the Colleges without a departure from the principle of the Bill. He might be permitted to ask whether, practically, the want of a religious education in Colleges was, from past experience, found to lead to any real evil? The right hon. Member for Waterford, who seconded the proposition of the noble Lord, was himself a student of Trinity College, Dublin. He would ask him whether there was any rule for conforming in that College? [Mr. Wyse: None.] The right hon. Member said none—then, practically, Roman Catholics attending that College received no religious education within the walls of that seminary. The Bill which he proposed for the adoption of the House contemplated a far better arrangement, because it provided a more stringent check upon the morals and the religious education of the young men attending the Colleges to be founded under it, than existed either in Trinity College, Dublin, or at Cambridge. So also in Scotland—a country in which religion was not considered of secondary importance. There, in her Universities, the Dissenter and the Roman Catholic were intermixed with those students belonging to the Church. They received their education together in the same classes, but without any religious ob- 1068 servances. Religious instruction was there taught wholly without the walls, with the exception of those who were studying theology. He had lately received a letter from a gentleman, who was himself a Roman Catholic, and a member of the town council of Edinburgh. It might be known to many hon. Members present, that that council had the appointment to the larger portion of the chairs in that University. That gentleman stated that application was made lately for one of the class-rooms of the Edinburgh University, to be used as a Catholic chapel, to which the Roman Catholic students might resort. That gentleman, although himself a Roman Catholic, objected to the council granting the application, because a compulsory attendance upon religious instruction was inconsistent with the constitution of the University; and after a considerable discussion, he successfully resisted the proposition, and it was negatived. Thus, although toleration was carried to its utmost limits in that country, they refused to admit Roman Catholic teachers into their Universities, considering that the attendance of the students at the various places of worship in the city rendered such teaching within the walls needless. He would not weary the House by reading the details from a sermon of Archbishop Whately, in which he illustrated his position that the system of national education was not inconsistent with religion, by the example of Trinity College; and it was more important to observe that the rule which this Bill sought to make general in the Universities of Ireland, had had the test of experience at the Belfast Academical Institution. That institution was principally connected with the Presbyterians of the north of Ireland; but the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. O'Connell) would admit that the evidence he was about to read was evidence of authority as to the principle upon which that institution had been conducted. At no time since its foundation had religious instruction been provided at that institution; but the Roman Catholics had availed themselves of its general education; and upon the propriety of their so doing the Roman Catholic bishops of Ireland had been consulted. The Roman Catholic archbishop, the Primate of Ireland at the present time, Archbishop Crolly, in 1827 had been examined—and the rule had then prevailed in that institution which it was now proposed to apply to the Universities of Ireland—Archbishop Crolly had been asked— 1069We should wish to know your opinion on this point, whether there is any objection on your part to young men who are ultimately to be sent to Maynooth," that was to say, for the Roman Catholic youth who were intended for the priesthood, "receiving their education in the Belfast institution?The answer of Archhishop Crolly was—There is no objection on my part.He was then asked—Is there any danger likely to result from the Roman Catholic young men mixing with the other students?The Archbishop answered—There is no danger as long as they are under the direction of their master. On their way to school and in their play they may insult the Catholic pupils; but there was never the slightest apprehension on my part of any danger from their studying together.There were other questions and answers which he might have read to the House; but he had read the recorded and deliberate opinion of the head of the Irish Church, that the present scheme was not at variance with the doctrines or discipline of the Roman Catholic Church; but, on the contrary, that the head of that Church gave his sanction to the education under that identical scheme of Roman Catholic young men intended for the priesthood. His noble Friend had referred to what had been stated by Lord Grey when the system of national education had been first propounded, and by his noble Friend Lord Stanley. In passing, he would here observe that a casual expression used by him in 1839 had been attempted to be fastened upon him—"that the scheme of national education was a failure." From the first conception, however, of that scheme up to the present time, he had been one of its warmest and sincerest advocates. What he had stated in 1839 had been, that as an united system of education it had not succeeded. He still regretted to be compelled to hold the same opinion. As a system of united education it had been a failure—but why had it so failed? Because the Protestant hierarchy and the Protestant parochial clergy had offered to it bitter and most uncompromising opposition. It was almost incredible that, much as had been said against that system, no fewer than 400,000 children should have received, within ten short years, instruction under it; and he must say of that scheme of education, that he considered it would bear comparison with any other system of instruction, whether in England or Scotland. The present measure he looked 1070 upon, then, as no more than an extension of that system of education from the humbler to the higher classes of the people of Ireland. The principle of the national system had been enunciated in a former year by the Lord Primate of Ireland, who had said that no plan, however wise and unexceptionable in other respects, could be carried into useful execution in that country unless its leading principle were that no attempt should be made to disturb the peculiar religious tenets of those who were educated in its schools; and the Commissioners of National Education, in their Report of this year, had observed that the principle of that system was, that the national schools should be open alike to all sects, and that, so far as religious instruction was concerned, the students should receive such as their parents or guardians should provide for them. Now, he repeated, this was the system on which also the present measure rested. The collegiate authorities would have no discretion in that particular—no power to interfere with religious opinions; it was contrary to the principle of this measure, as it was to that of the national system, that there should be any direct interference with the religious sentiments of the students. He (Sir J. Graham) was one of the last that would contend for any scheme of instruction being defensible in which religious teaching should not form, practically and really, the groundwork; and he was satisfied that, in the shape in which this measure was proposed, every security which the circumstances of Ireland admitted of had been obtained for such religious instruction out of the walls as might be in accordance with the wishes of the parents and guardians of the students, and under the supervision of those who, without the walls, would attend to that instruction. For his own part, he deeply regretted the unhappy circumstances which, in Ireland, must render any attempt to combine a united system of secular with a united system of religious education, a complete failure. His noble Friend had said that he would object to any attempt to force the religion of the State upon the students in these Colleges, and that he was not prepared to support—indeed, that he would oppose—any proposition for the endowment by the State of theological professors within them. If such, then, were the scruples of his noble Friend, he (Sir J. Graham) confessed he could not see what scheme it was open to the Government to propose, unless it were one which excluded 1071 from the curriculum of education all theological doctrine. He was persuaded that the adoption of the Motion of his noble Friend would lead, of necessity, to the inculcation of theology with all the variances of doctrine, and to general strife and religious bitterness in the Colleges themselves. The great object was to combine all parties in one scheme of secular education, in the hope that religious jealousies would not be excited, and that the animosities which prevailed would be stopped, whilst, at the same time, every possible security was taken for the religious instruction, without any attempt to proselytize through the medium of lectures on science, leaving the question of religion to persons out of the walls of the institutions. It would, then, be inexpedient to adopt the Resolution of his noble Friend; but if the House rejected that Resolution, it would still be open to him to propose the insertion of Clauses in the Bill in Committee, in accordance with its own views, should he wish to do so. At all events this Resolution was not necessary with a view to effect the object of the noble Lord.
§ Lord Mahon
, in explanation, said it was much to the advantage, he thought, of private Members of that House, that they should not be put to the labour, difficulty, and expense of having clauses drawn up for the purpose of their being moved in Committees on Bills, when there was but little chance of their being carried. There was, therefore, very great advantage to such Members, by the system of moving instructions; but he had adopted the course he had taken, from the impression that, of late, instructions to Committees had, by a mere technical anticipation, been put an end to. ["No, no."] If the instruction was anything that could by possibility be moved in the Committee, then it was said to be contrary to rule, and inadmissible; if, on the contrary it could not be so moved, then almost, ex vi termini, it must be something alien and foreign to the Bill; and the instruction might be justly opposed on that ground. In either case, practically speaking, he feared there was an end to the system of instruction. He had drawn this Resolution in strict conformity with several precedents, and especially with a Resolution moved by General Gascoigne in going into Committee on the Reform Bill.
§ Sir J. Graham
wished to ask his noble Friend this question:—Suppose: that a Roman Catholic youth were sent to a College at Cork, for instance, and his guardians 1072 wished him to go to a Roman Catholic place of worship, whilst the youth himself wished to attend a Presbyterian place of worship—what would his noble Friend wish to see done in such case?
§ Lord Mahon
said, that he presumed that, in such a case, whether in these Colleges or at any other, a pupil ought, in the first instance, to attend the religious service prescribed by his parents or guardians; but afterwards, if he felt any conscientious scruples, to act according to these.
thought it was rather hard for Members of Parliament to be met by those various objections which were so frequently urged against them in reference to clauses which they might wish to move in Committees on Bills into which they might be desirous of endeavouring to insert principles in accordance with their own sentiments on important questions like the present. The Motion of his noble Friend, if carried, would be simply this—that in each of these Colleges there should be provided a chaplain, not for the purpose of instructing the pupils in controversial theology, but of giving them religious instruction weekly and daily; for, in the houses of their friends, or in these boarding houses in which they might reside, it was very conceivable that they might be living under the care of persons altogether unqualified to give them such instruction as that to meet the want of which his noble Friend had framed his Motion. He considered that his noble Friend was quite right in adopting the course he had taken, because, considering the remarks that had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman the other night respecting the exclusion of religious education, and considering the declarations of the Government that this Resolution, if carried, was contrary to the spirit of the Bill, it was, nevertheless, a Resolution which, if not necessary for the purpose of procuring the insertion in the measure of the principle it laid down, was yet necessary as showing the principle on which it was wished that the Bill should proceed. He thought that that principle was sufficiently important to warrant his noble Friend in bringing it forward as he had done as a question of principle and not of detail.
§ Mr. M. Milnes
defended the principle of the measure as proposed by the Government. He owned that the opposition which this liberal measure had received in Ireland had given him fresh pain; and he would beg the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Cork (Mr. O'Connell) to remember for how long a period of our his- 1073 tory the Roman Catholic religion had been maintained to be the enemy of civil liberty, how that accusation had been brought against it again in these days, and what the present state of the controversy between the Church and the Universities in France. And it was in this state of public opinion on the subject of the Roman Catholic religion, when those who, like himself (Mr. Milnes), believed that that religion was perfectly compatible with civil liberty, found that the Roman Catholic hierarchy of Ireland opposed this measure on grounds which, he lamented to say, went far to favour a contrary supposition. The one thing which those who were in favour of measures of this nature were desirous of doing was, to bring the Protestant and the Roman Catholic together in the same lecture room, and to remove that aliment of religious dispute which was now, unhappily, so abundantly provided. Such being their wish and intention, they did feel that to establish these Colleges on the principle advocated by the Roman Catholic hierarchy, would be to nullify them, so far as all these great purposes of civilization were concerned. For these reasons he should oppose the Motion of his noble Friend, considering that the new clauses brought forward by the right hon. Gentleman provided amply for that which was principally requisite, academical discipline, and persuaded that the object of the Government in this measure was one of the most large and liberal character.
§ Mr. Bickham Escott
supported the measure, as one which was calculated to effect the advancement of education amongst all classes of Her Majesty's subjects in Ireland. One of the objections which had been very prominently put forth by the hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford was, that this was a "godless" scheme of education. He could not assent to that; and was prepared, on the contrary, to defend the Bill on the ground of its being a religious Bill. It was true that its object was to exclude, as far as possible, all religious and sectarian animosities; but that was not calculated to injure the cause of religion; and he believed that the only way in which education could be effectually and successfully encouraged in Ireland, was by excluding sectarian differences in the system of education which it was proposed to give to the youth of that country. The charge against the Government, that it was not a religious system of education, 1074 because care had been taken to avoid religious animosities, was most unfounded, and reminded him of a charge which had been at one time brought against a schoolmaster in his neighbourhood, to the effect that he was so cruel as to refuse to allow the poor boys who were at his school the comforts of fire in the midst of winter. An investigation took place; and it appeared that he had, in reality, merely prevented the boys from letting off squibs and crackers in the school. The charge which was made against the schoolmaster, of not allowing the comforts of fire to the boys, because he prevented the use of squibs and crackers, was not more unfounded than that which was made against the Government of introducing a godless system of education, because they refused to allow the exhibition of sectarian animosity or religious acrimony in those Colleges. It was said that the Roman Catholic bishops of Ireland were opposed to this system of education; but he denied that the people of Ireland were generally opposed to it. He could not assent to the statement, that the people of Ireland were opposed to the measure, because the Roman Catholic bishops, and the hon. and learned Member for Cork, were opposed to it. He believed, nay he knew, that in Ireland a large mass of the people—Protestant, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic—rejoiced at the introduction of this measure as one which was calculated to give to the middle classes and the humbler gentry a chance of a liberal education. That large and important portion of the people or Ireland were in favour of the measure of the Government; and they formed a class who were not represented by the hon. and learned Member for Cork, or the hon. Member for Kilkenny; they might perhaps be represented by the hon. Member for Waterford. And this he (Mr. Escott) knew, that the class of whom he spoke agreed in opinion with the majority of the people of the United Kingdom, who were sick of sectarian differences. He venerated the Church of England, because it was above sectarian differences; and when he adverted to the Church of England, he could not avoid saying, that in this respect, the hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford was no more a representative of the Church of England, than the hon. Member for Cork was a representative of the people of Ireland. He rather looked upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer as a repre- 1075 sentative of the feelings of the Church of England on this occasion; for that Church was essentially liberal. The Bill was a bold, a wise, and a politic measure; yet they were told that it had not produced peace in Ireland. Who had ever thought it would? It was not for to-day or for to-morrow; but to educate those who were hereafter to sway the destinies of Ireland. If he, a humble individual, might offer a few words of counsel to the hon. and learned Member for Cork, he would say that he had been grievously disappointed at the course which the hon. and learned Gentleman had pursued with regard to this measure. He should have thought that the hon. and learned Gentleman might have afforded to throw away all those animosities which, upon other occasions, might be allowed to influence his conduct. He should have thought that the time had come when, having done great things for his country, the hon. and learned Member might have said, "Here is a Government which has not only the will but the power to do justice to my wronged and beloved country." The hon. and learned Gentleman had never before seen a Government in office which had both the will and the power. He could not deny it. Why would he not then now rise superior to sectarianism, and aid in that glorious course? It was a glorious course. As in one great question he had shown and taught them the way, why not now, as he was approaching the close of his public career, teach the people to refrain from that agitation, which now was useless, and to help him and the Government, and all true friends of liberty and justice in Ireland, in carrying out those measures which the Government, and which every free-thinking and independent man in the United Kingdom, admitted were intended for the benefit of Ireland? Why not say that the sun which had warmed the people in its mid-day career, might shine with a benignant and milder lustre as it approached its setting in the western ray? He had gained many victories; there remained but one more for him to achieve, and that was the victory over himself. If he should achieve that, he would go down to posterity as a great man, who had conquered his own feelings of animosity 10 those in power, and who had done so because be felt that by pursuing that course, he was conferring substantial benefits upon his country. The 1076 Government had been charged with having deviated from their former principles in bringing forward this measure. He believed it to be the duty of a Government to oppose the bigotry of those who were attached to the bygone systems of trade and commerce, as well as to oppose the monopoly of religion, whether coming from Protestant or Catholic. He honoured the Government for having, in all their measures, defied both bigotry and monopoly. He had heard them upon all occasions argue against those who admitted exclusive protection either to the one or to the other, and he honoured them for that course. He only hoped that they would go on in that course, regardless either of taunts or of reproaches; for he could assure them that it was a course approved by liberty and truth, and one which the free and independent voice of the kingdom would sanction. Every advancement in the education of the people had been made in spite of the monopoly of religion. To the Government he would say, "Go on and prosper in that course; that is walking in the light of the Constitution; that is true Conservatism; for it is teaching the people, and all the nations of the earth, that there is no legislative importance—no advantage to popular liberty—no offering to her sacred cause, which they might not hope to attain under that free Constitution of which your reason preserves the energies, and under that Constitutional monarchy of which you are the worthy Ministers."
§ Mr. Colquhoun
said, that though he should come to the same conclusion as his hon. Friend, still it would be for very different reasons from those which had induced his hon. Friend who had just sat down to support the measure; for he was sure he should be charged with satire if he called this a religious Bill. It might be a Bill called for by a necessity; but it certainly was not a religious measure. The right hon. Baronet himself had not introduced it as his hon. Friend had done, in that speech which he (Mr. Colquhoun) did not think should have been delivered on those benches, but on the other side of the House, and which he thought would find scarcely a complete seconder, except in the hon. and learned Member for Bath. The right hon. Gentleman stated, that if they were to give education to the middle classes at all, it must be by steering clear of the question of religion altogether; and 1077 he (Mr. Colquhoun) confessed, that not agreeing with the principle of the Bill — doubting whether any circumstances justified the Government in introducing such a measure—having declined to affirm the principle of the Bill; yet, finding that it had been affirmed by the House, he was bound to say, that every Amendment which was proposed tending to introduce religion, appeared to him to be an Amendment only tending still more to perplex the question. Their principle was to give to the people the best secular education that they could supply. It was said, that this was the best system that could be introduced under the circumstances. It might be so; but to say that it was a good system, a University system, or an academical system, or to speak of it in the same breath with Trinity College, or the Scotch or English Universities, would be a perversion of the rules of common judgment. It was not the rules of College discipline, nor the sermons heard, nor lectures delivered upon the Thirty-nine Articles, that gave life and efficacy to the University education of England; but the example and instruction of superior men, of clergymen of our own Church, estimated for their superior knowledge and abilities. It was the influence of their character, and the contagion of their opinions. As a proof of this, he might refer to the difference which was created in Rugby school by the presence of Dr. Arnold, who was intent upon his work, and whose earnest and energetic mind led after him, by a strong sympathy, the docile minds of the youth committed to his care. There was here no change of system, but a change in the teacher. But the vice of this Bill, and of all such systems, was, that the utmost you could get from your professors on one great branch of instruction was neutrality. The right hon. Baronet had spoken of the Belfast College, but the case of that College was most adverse to his argument; for the complaint there was not that theological teachers taught Arianism, but that professors of elocution, and grammar, and Greek, introduced Arianism into lectures with which Arianism had nothing to do. [Mr. O'Connell: Hear, hear.] So, in the midst of astronomy, which the right hon. Baronet had correctly described as tending to elevate the mind of man, an infidel might secretly infuse principles of a different character. They could not prevent a glance, or a shrug of the shoulders, 1078 or a careless passing over of a sentiment—all of which would communicate to the youth an impression of the teacher's indifference to religion. He, therefore, said, that they were not, by any regulations they could introduce into this system, safe from the evils that had been pointed out. Still, there seemed, according to the view of a majority of the House, to be no alternative but to adopt it. But he wished to guard against its being looked upon hereafter as a precedent. Future Governments might say, "This question of English education is becoming increasingly difficult; we must contrive to get rid of religion in our popular schools and Universities, as it has been got rid of in the academical Colleges of Ireland." Imperfect, he regarded this system to be, and full of objection; but as a precedent, it was absolutely formidable. He was only relieved, in some measure, from his apprehensions upon that point by the declaration of the right hon. Baronet the First Lord of the Treasury—a declaration studiously made — that the Bill was called for by the peculiar circumstances of Ireland. [Sir R. Peel: Hear.] The right hon. Baronet the Secretary of State for the Home Department had recommended the measure on the ground that, in principle, it was similar to the system of national education at present in operation in Ireland. But he saw a serious difference between them in a very essential particular. The great objection to the national system of education was, that it was practically placed in the hands of local patrons, who appointed the schoolmaster; whereas here the Government proposed to retain that patronage in their own hands, and he hoped that nothing would deter them from doing so. The hon. and learned Member for Cork quoted on a former evening some passages from the evidence of Timothy Lynch, as contained in the report of the trial at Tralee, showing how he had "humbugged" a number of persons regarding his religion; and he would now beg the attention of the House to the following extracts from the evidence of that man, in order that the House might see the effect of local influence as applied to the national system of education in Ireland. The witness (Timothy Lynch) said—I am now a Roman Catholic, and I was appointed teacher of the national school by the Rev. Mr. Devine, the Roman Catholic priest of Dingle. I was born in Iveragh, and lived 1079 there in the early part of ray life; I came to Dingle to go to school. Where did you stop at Dingle?—I stopped at Miss Hussey's, of Kilfountain. How long did you remain with Miss Hussey?—I stopped with her until I was sent to Dublin to be trained as a national schoolmaster. How long did you remain in Dublin?—About three months, Sir, and at the end of that time I came back to Dingle. Were you a Roman Catholic when you came back?—I was, Sir. Why did you come back to Dingle?—I came back to be appointed a teacher of the Dingle national school; I was appointed a primary teacher; Ballyferritter is about six or seven miles from Dingle; I left the national school of Ballyferritter in the year 1841, and I was appointed as teacher there in the year 1838. Why did you leave it?—I left it, because I did not want to stay any longer there. Upon my oath, I had not a quarrel with Mr. Casey, the priest, about salary; he did not turn me out of the school, but he wanted to reduce my salary, and I left him and went to Liverpool, in expectation of a situation; I got sick in Liverpool, and was so for about six weeks; I never went to church in Liverpool; I came from Liverpool to Dublin, and on my arrival in Dublin I met the Rev. Mr. Moriarty's brother, and had a conversation with him; I went to church in Dublin at that time; I don't think I told the Rev. Mr. Norman that I read my recantation in Liverpool, and I never did so. Who were Mrs. Peebles and Miss Bellingham?—They were two ladies that Mr. Matthew Moriarty introduced me to. I see; and you told Mrs. Peebles that you were an excellent Protestant?—It was necessity compelled me to do it. Mr. Moriarty introduced you to Mrs. Peebles, and Mrs. Peebles told you to go to church? — Yes, Sir. Come, now, upon your oath, didn't you humbug the lady?—Many besides me humbug them. On your oath, didn't they think you a great Protestant?—Sure I went to church. Come, now, did not Mrs. Peebles and Miss Bellingham think you were a great Protestant?—Witness (pausing and holding down his head)—They did certainly. Now, on your oath, how long did you continue humbugging the poor ladies?—Witness (pausing and confused), I suppose it was humbugging them. But how long did you continue humbugging them?—I was with them from the time I arrived in Dublin till the 10th of March. How many children have the good fortune to be under your charge?—Sometimes 180. Do you instruct them in morality and truth?—I do, Sir. Do you consider it a crime to tell a lie and to be a hypocrite?—It is, certainly. Do you teach that to the children?—Sometimes.So much for the man's own evidence: he would now turn to the remarks of counsel thereon—Lynch goes to Liverpool, he comes back to Dublin, and cannot tell you the names of 1080 the churches to which he went. You have heard from his own lips the story of his infamous career. He comes down to the west, and represents himself as an honest man, and, at the same time that he was covered with disgrace and degradation, he said, that his religion was unchanged—in other words, he denied that very God on whose word his oath was taken. He is now connected with the national schools. That being, whose words excited unmingled, withering disgust in the minds of every one who heard him—he is now the instrument of the education of children—of the instruction of the rising generation! He is now a national schoolmaster, appointed by a rev. gentleman who has taken an active part in this defence; and, gracious Heavens! will he venture to keep him, poisoned as is every communication which comes from such a source? Can that man administer instruction to the poor, steeped as he is in the moral filth of infamy and crime? And yet this is the man who is ushered in and put forward as one of their best witnesses—a double-sold apostate, a foul liar to his God, and an abominable perjurer. That is the man on whose evidence you are called upon to decide.There was a specimen of one of their national schoolmasters; there was a remarkable specimen of the unwholesome influence of those local patrons to whom was committed the charge of appointing the national schoolmasters. He should be under great alarm if this academic system was assimilated in this respect to the system of schools, and if Her Majesty's Government did not purpose to retain in their own hands the appointments to be made under this Bill.
§ Sir R. Peel
I could hardly, Sir, have expected to have heard the name of Mrs. Peebles introduced on the present occasion; and even if it were a fitting occasion for introducing it, I do not think the hon. Gentleman has used it very successfully in his attack upon the system of national education in Ireland. Sir, if the proof that one individual master was unfit for the situation to which he had been appointed was to be conclusive evidence against the whole system, I am afraid there is no institution, civil or ecclesiastical, that could stand against that mode of testing its character. I shall not now enter into the consideration of the policy of upholding the national system of education in Ireland. What we have to discuss to-night is not the general principle of this Bill, but the policy of adopting a particular proposal made by my noble Friend the Member for Hertford, and to which I think we ought to confine our 1081 deliberations. My noble Friend proposes that we should resolve—That it is the opinion of this House, that in the establishment of Colleges in Ireland, provision should be made for the religious instruction of the Pupils, by means of Lecture Fees, till such time as private benefactions for that object may have taken effect.In bringing forward this Motion, my noble Friend makes this admission—he admits with me that the circumstances of Ireland are peculiar. Now, I again repeat the declaration which afforded some satisfaction to the hon. Gentleman who spoke last, that I do not vindicate this plan of the Government as a perfect or unexceptionable plan. I think that would be a better plan which had religion for its foundation. I wish the circumstances of the country admitted that in founding a plan of national education you could incorporate with the system of secular instruction which it embraced, instruction in the religion of the State. I do propose this plan, on account of the peculiar circumstances of the country for which it is intended. There exists in that country so unfortunate a diversity of religious opinion, and so great a necessity for increased and improved academical education, and, believing it is for the interests of society that that education should be of a mixed and united character, I feel that I can vindicate it by a reference to those circumstances, and that they are sufficient in themselves to justify Her Majesty's Government in proposing such a plan. My noble Friend makes this admission, that he would not think of having theological instruction exclusive, and that a proposition for founding three theological professorships—one connected with the establishment, one with the Roman Catholic religion, and one with the Presbyterian religion—should have his most decided opposition. He perhaps may have thought with me, that it would have been impossible to have made a number of such professorships, unless it was intended to cast a reflection upon some particular form of religious faith. Therefore, my noble Friend and I are advanced very far on the same ground in the consideration of these Colleges. Bur, then, my noble Friend proposes that for a certain time, but not permanently, provision for religious instruction shall be made, and by fees upon the pupils. He attaches the condition, that they are not to be 1082 permanent; that they are to be until such time only as private benefactions shall have taken effect. He, therefore, contemplates private contributions as the ultimate means, and only resorts to fees as a temporary substitute. If that is so, I ask whether by such a substitute he will not be practically preventing and discouraging private contributions? He would establish an insufficient provision for a theological professorship, but quite sufficient to discourage and prevent private contributions. I do think, therefore, that we pay a greater homage to the principles of religion by the proposition which we make, than by subjecting the pupils to the payment of fees for the purpose of providing a salary for the person who was to instruct them in those principles. We not only propose, at the cost of the State, to establish an excellent secular institution, and to endow professors in every branch of secular instruction, but we go further—we provide for the distinguished students, without reference to rank or religion, ample premiums, and in case of poverty some means of enabling them to meet the expenses of their education. During the three years of the curriculum there is to be a provision for not less than twenty prizes, increasing in amount according to the standing of the students. We say, that on account of the diversity of religious opinion, we are unable to provide religious education; but, so far from repudiating it, we think that provision ought and will be voluntarily made for it. Sir, my firm belief is—such is the deep feeling of religion among all classes in Ireland — my firm belief is, that the Roman Catholic body will give much more ample contributions for the endowment of their professors than you would collect by the annual fee of two or three guineas levied on the students. There are two great authorities, as connected with religion, to whom we are enabled to make an appeal; first, there are the parents and natural guardians of the youth sent to these Colleges. It is said, you are going to remove the youth in all cases from the roofs of their parents, and therefore diminishing the chances of their having a good religious education. Either the parents are religious, or they are not. If the parents are not religious, there is no great harm in severing the youth from their immediate charge. I cannot help thinking that the youth sent to Cork or Belfast, 1083 brought into contact with distinguished professors, are much more likely to imbibe sound religious principles, than if they were left under the tuition of irreligious parents. But suppose the parents are deeply impressed with the importance of religion, that they are most solicitous for the temporal and eternal welfare of their children, that they are most desirous that their offspring should be well educated in the principles of their own faith, do you believe it possible that parents, entertaining such feelings, will not take care that they shall be placed under the superintendence of some one who will be responsible that they duly attend to their religious duties? Then there is another part of the community on whom we may rely—the spiritual instructors of the people. Are we to presume that there is indifference on their part? Take the case of the city of Cork: are we to presume that the ministers of the Roman Catholic faith, or of the Established Church, will not voluntarily and zealously exert themselves for the purpose of aiding in the religious education of the youth who may resort to the College in that city? My belief is, that you may rest with firm confidence, both on the interests of parents in the welfare of their children, the zeal of their spiritual instructors, and on the liberality of the affluent, of every religious persuasion, for providing that religious instruction which it would be contrary to the principles of this Bill for the State to endow. Again, I repeat, that I think we pay a greater tribute to the religious principle by relying on the contributions of the affluent, by inviting them to contribute to the foundation of these halls, where religion may be taught, and moral discipline enforced, than if we subjected each student, on his entering College, to the payment of a fee for a theological professor. So far with reference to the principles of the two proposals, and I think ours is infinitely preferable, so far as religious principle is concerned. But as to details, how does my noble Friend mean to carry out his plan? Let us begin with members of the Establishment. He would require that a Protestant youth, whose parents belonged to the Established Church, should pay a fee of three or five guineas annually for religious instruction; that there should be a professor connected with the Established Church who should give lectures on re- 1084 ligion. Are the young men to be compelled to attend those lectures? Let us look at the differences that unfortunately prevail; in the case, for instance, of Oxford. Suppose such a professor as my noble Friend recommends were appointed there, I am not quite sure I should find any very unanimous desire to attend these lectures. Conceive a professor giving theological lectures in the University of Oxford, would it be wise to impose an obligation on every member of the Establishment to attend them? Would it not be infinitely better to leave attendance to the free choice of parents and students? I believe the same might be said with regard to the Roman Catholic Church. My noble Friend said he would leave the choice to the Roman Catholic prelates: we make attendance voluntary. But after you have exacted the fee, I think you could hardly leave it optional with the pupil, whether he attended these lectures or not. If he declined from religious scruples, or objections to the professor who gave the lectures, would you in that case either enforce attendance, or compel the payment of the fee? To compel the payment of the fee, when there was a religious objection to the professor, would be to introduce a new element of religious discord in matters of education. I do hope the House will, on reflection, see all the difficulties involved in this question, as justly observed by the hon. Gentleman who spoke last. It appears we have the choice between two alternatives—either to appoint theological professors and endow them by the State—or to take the course we have taken, namely, to provide excellent secular instruction, and to leave the endowment of theological professors to the voluntary contributions of the affluent, and to the natural solicitude of parents to provide for the education of their children. I think any attempt to engraft compulsory attendance on theological lectures would fail, and to exact fees without compulsion would be inconsistent. We take a middle course. We think ours is the true principle, and we believe any departure from it will not be accompanied with any compensation equivalent to the loss we should sustain by the failure of that principle. It has been charged upon us that, in devising this measure, we have not taken the opinion or consulted the wishes of ecclesiastical authorities. Sir, the ex- 1085 perience of what has passed convinces me that in taking that course we acted wisely. I think there is little probability that if we had consulted ecclesiastical authorities, we could have proposed any measure for joint education which was likely to have their assent. For instance, when the Roman Catholic prelates state what is their minimum, they insist on it that the professors of geology and anatomy must necessarily be of the Roman Catholic religion. Well, now, was it possible, would it have been wise in us, to take the opinions of the prelates—to the parties to be bound by the advice given us; having got an opinion of that kind, was it in our power to adopt it? or, would it be respectful in us, having invited the opinion, peremptorily to refuse to act on it? I never could have proposed, I never could have sanctioned the principle that in any scheme for academical education in Ireland, anatomy could not be taught to Roman Catholic students by a Protestant professor. I never could recognise the principle that a Protestant student could not learn geology from a Roman Catholic. What would a philosopher of old, if he could be recalled from the dead, think of our religion, to be told that, having the light of Revelation, having made such wonderful discoveries in science, believing in all the great truths of Christianity, such was the state of society that the natives of the same isle, the subjects of the same Queen, the professors of the same faith as to all its leading principles, could not learn from each other the principles of abstract science without the danger of interference with their particular creeds? This really is altogether alien from that spirit to which I think religion ought to tend. Why should I tell the Roman Catholic of the last generation that they must not be present at the lectures of John Hunter, because he was not a Roman Catholic? Must I tell a Roman Catholic student of the present day that Sir Benjamin Brodie cannot instruct him in anatomy, because he is not a Roman Catholic? Must I tell a Roman Catholic resident at Dublin, now, that he must shun Sir Philip Crampton as a pestilence, because he is not a Roman Catholic?
§ Mr. O'Connell
It so happens that, in a lecture on anatomy, he introduced one of the greatest calumnies imaginable against the Roman Catholic religion; thinking the fact true, no doubt, himself.
§ Sir R. Peel
Well, in such an instance the power of the Crown would be used, under this Bill, to remove a professor so acting immediately. I regret to hear what has been stated of so eminent a man. The hon. and learned Gentleman must excuse me if I rather hope he has made a mistake, than think it possible that in reading lectures to students on anatomy, Sir Philip Crampton should have insinuated anything disrespectful to the Roman Catholic body.
§ Mr. O'Connell
I would not willingly lie under the imputation of stating anything designedly wrong. The gentleman in question is most eminent: he is at the head of his profession in Ireland, undoubtedly; a more respectable man in all the relations of life is not to be found; but in a lecture on anatomy, taking Protestant authorities for matter of fact in the history of anatomy, he accused the head of the Catholic Church of the grossest persecution of an individual, for no other reason than that he had made discoveries in anatomy. It did not rest here; a Catholic clergyman conversant with the history of anatomy, in reply to the published lecture, proved that the individual had been guilty of forgery, for which he was punished. The treatment by the Inquisition was altogether unconnected with science. Sir Philip Crampton, however, had the manliness at once to come forward and admit that he was wrong.
§ Sir R. Peel
I have known Sir Philip Crampton in other times; he is a man of the most comprehensive liberality, and I never knew him to utter one word that could give offence to a Roman Catholic. It was certainly possible that a Protestant professor, speaking of Galileo, or in lecturing on the circulation of the blood, may have referred to the difficulties thrown in the way of science by men of great weight and ecclesiastical station and influence, but without the slightest reflection on the faith of a Roman Catholic. But if such be the state of society in Ireland, that on account of religious controversy and political difference—such is the alienation that exists—that an eminent man cannot rest from taking advantage of a great public office for the purpose of giving offence to his Roman Catholic fellow citizens, does it not suggest to us the caution with which we should endeavour to lay the foundation of a better order of things, and invite the youth of every religious persuasion to abate 1087 their animosities, and turn the edge of their mutual prejudices by uniting together in a common course of secular education. I admit that we are open to the objection of not having consulted the leading ecclesiastical authorities of the different religious persuasions in Ireland as to our plan of mixed secular education. But I find a letter which has been addressed to me by one of those authorities—I mean Dr. M'Hale, that he expresses great doubts and difficulties on the subject of the Government plans. He says—Disguise it as you may, your scheme of academical instruction, coupled with your repudiation of the Resolutions and Memorial of the bishops, is only a fresh attempt, similar to that of the charter schools, to bribe Catholic youth into an abandonment of their religion.And further on he says—And you do this to second the schemes of mercenary infidels, who are springing up in the country, and who, under the affectation of zeal for education, would not hesitate to advocate Mahometanism, if it gave them access to the patronage of the Lords of the Treasury,Supposing, then, that we had previously determined upon taking Archbishop M'Hale's opinion upon our scheme of education, I fear we should have been reduced to the alternative of abandoning our plan, or else of neglecting and slighting that opinion which we sought. The same may be observed of the other religious persuasions in Ireland; and it is only a short time since I received a letter from a Presbyterian clergyman of high character, wherein he says—Sir James Graham appears to have intimated that all religions would be represented in the professorships. Now, I should be acting most unfaithfully to the Government did I not clearly express my conviction that one Roman Catholic or Unitarian professor in the undergraduate course—I mean the imperative part—would at once decide the General Assembly to withdraw every student. Of this result I entertain not a single doubt. You might, indeed, appoint an Episcopalian of the Church of England, not known as a Puseyite, as readily as a Presbyterian or a Baptist, Independent or Methodist, without much dissatisfaction, but not an Unitarian or Roman Catholic professor.And the letter goes on further to state, that the appointment of a Unitarian or a Roman Catholic professor teaching astronomy or anatomy would at once decide the General Assembly to withdraw every student. Now, I believe that the effect of 1088 these denunciations of the Government plan of education in Ireland will be to provoke throughout that country a spirit far more consonant to the true genius of the Christian religion than that with which they are imbued. I believe, Sir, that the people of Ireland will consent to receive instruction from professors of eminence of all creeds, if they find that security is given to them that no advantage shall be taken of their position as teachers to undermine the faith of the young men confided to their charge. As to infidelity, we are all agreed, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, and Protestant, to repel infidel doctrines. You cannot doubt that any attempt to disseminate such doctrines will be repelled, if you commit to the Crown the powers of visitor to these academical institutions. Your apprehensions on that head, therefore, are unfounded. Do you entertain any apprehensions with respect to Trinity College, Dublin, or the course of education insisted upon within the walls of that institution? The right hon. Member for Waterford, the hon. Member for Kerry, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dungarvon, were all educated there. Observe, that the lecturers in the abstract sciences at Trinity College are necessarily all Protestants—members of the Established Church. The lecturer in physics might, I believe, be a Roman Catholic; but those by whom the right hon. Gentlemen the Members for Water-ford and Dungarvon, and the hon. Member for Kerry, were taught, were members of the Established Church. What was the testimony of those Gentlemen to whom I now refer upon this point? Why, that each of them had been four years resident within the walls of the exclusively Protestant Uuiversity of Dublin, and they were bound to say that none of them had, during those four years, ever heard any professor utter one word against the Roman Catholic religion, nor attempt to take any advantage, or to gain them over from their faith. If that be a true account of the course pursued towards Roman Catholic students in a place so exclusively Protestant as is Trinity College, Dublin, are not your apprehensions vain when you anticipate such attempts being made in places of education where no religious tests are required—where no preference is given to any particular religious creed? Is it, I ask you, likely that after the experience which you have had of the practice 1089 observed in Trinity College, Dublin, you should have any cause to apprehend such a system as you have deprecated as likely to be brought into action in the educational establishments created by this measure. I do, therefore, hope, that after the first symptoms of fear and distrust which the Government plan has excited in the minds of those to whom I refer, there will be a reaction in its favour, and that such men as Dr. Crolly, and others endowed with the experience and wisdom attributable to the Roman Catholic prelacy in Ireland, will perceive that their objections to our plan of education have no real foundation. I admit the influence, I acknowledge the importance and weight which attaches to their opinions upon such subjects throughout Ireland, more particularly throughout the south of Ireland. But still I do not despair of seeing that Roman Catholic prelacy, when they shall have acquired by experience of its result the assurance that no advantage is taken of our plan of secular education to tamper with the faith of their youth, or to interfere with the tenets of their Church within the walls of these academical institutions—I repeat, I don't despair ultimately of seeing them hail our plan as a great boon to Ireland, as a plan calculated to bestow a sound education upon the youth of Ireland; but, above all, as a plan by which we shall lay the foundations of a better and kindlier feeling towards each other, than has heretofore existed in the minds of those who are destined to constitute the future manhood of that country.
§ Mr. O'Connell
said: Sir, if this debate had not taken a desultory course, and had not avoided the great measure in dispute, I should have taken the liberty to have obtruded myself much earlier upon the attention of the House, and to have expressed my opinions then in as few sentences as I now mean to address to it. I cannot, however, go on without referring to the subject of Sir Philip Crampton, lest it should be supposed that I meant to say anything derogatory to that gentleman, or to insinuate anything that was unworthy of his reputation. I named an instance which I thought was the strongest that I could have adduced, because the mistake into which that gentleman fell was a mistake deduced from Protestant writers. He himself was utterly unconscious that what he was stating was not the literal fact. The Rev. Dr. Miley con- 1090 vinced him that it was not so, and he at once gave evidence of his high character, and the regard which he had for the truth, by retracting the expressions which he had used against the Court of Rome. I have half a mind to detain the House for a few minutes on the subject of Galileo. The right hon. Baronet himself introduced it. The general idea is that Galileo was imprisoned for supporting the Copernican system, and that he was for a length of time in the Inquisition. In point of fact he was in the Inquisition three days only. Three days constituted the entire length of time which Galileo spent in the Inquisition; and so far from his being sent to gaol for promulgating the Copernican system, the Pope who was the cotemporary of the philosopher, was the very man who enabled Copernicus to publish his discoveries. Galileo was imprisoned for quite a different thing. He asserted that the centralization of the sun and the movements of the planets could be proved out of Scripture. He was forbidden to publish that doctrine—he broke the prohibition, and was sent to gaol for three days for a breach of the injunction; and that was the history of his imprisonment. I regret that the Government has expressed its determination to persevere with this Bill in its present form, and based upon its present principles. I am not disposed to give any heed at all to the array of motives charged upon the Government for bringing it forward. Almost all our actions proceed from mixed motives. I believe that the predominant motive which actuated the Ministers in this matter was to bring forward a measure conciliatory to Ireland. I am quite free to confess, that I believe that such was the leading object of the Bill. I should like to know from the hon. Member for Winchester, who paid me a high, compliment, attributing to me much power, what were the other measures relative to Ireland brought in by the Government which I could support? The condition of Ireland is now such that no delay can be afforded in the application of a remedy. Ireland is in a frightful state. You have the most decided evidence of that fact in the Reports of Committees and of Land Commissions. In 1830, Mr. Spring Rice spoke of the great distress which then existed, but was full of hope that relief would be speedily afforded. In 1834, the Poor Law Inquiry 1091 Commissioners said, that there were 2,300,000 persons in a state of destitution in Ireland. You have now a Land Commission, and what does it tell you? Why it announces to you the startling fact, that 4,500,000—that is to say, more than one half—of the population of Ireland — are in the melancholy condition thus described. They are badly fed, badly clothed, badly housed, badly paid; their food potatoes—their drink water—a bed and blanket luxuries to them almost unknown; in fact, they are suffering more than any other peasantry in Europe. That is the condition of Ireland, and is it not a condition full of horror? Forty-five years after the Union that is the condition of Ireland! Mr. Spring Rice, in 1830, promised amelioration. Mr. Wiggins, at the same period, expected the approach of relief; but in 1844 he writes a letter, declaring that he was convinced that he was totally mistaken, and that the destitution of the people of Ireland had increased. Of what other people can such a description be given, as that which can, unfortunately, be drawn of the people of Ireland? This description is given by Lord Devon's Commission, and there cannot be the least doubt of its accuracy. If it is inaccurate, it is because its colouring is not sufficiently high, and not the least hope of amelioration is held out without the most complete change of measures. Recollect also, that the agrarian disturbances in Ireland are accumulating year after year. You hear of more and more murders year after year. You hear with horror, and you should hear with repentance, of the increasing number of those hideous assassinations committed by the friends of ejected tenantry upon those who are instrumental in their ejection. The evil is proceeding north. The disturbances are spreading which now pervade the centre of the county of Roscommon, the entire of the county of Leitrim, and part of the county of Cavan; and a meeting of magistrates was held the other day in Fermanagh, where no less than two murders have been perpetrated under the present system within a short space of time. Are the Gentlemen of England—are Gentlemen in the House of Commons aware that this is the situation of Ireland? They cannot, if they give themselves leave to think, doubt that it is so. The evidence is of the most cogent character, and no doubt can be entertain- 1092 ed of the fact which it but too strongly proves. And yet you are talking here of your mighty boon. What is that boon? The people are starving. Feed them before you educate them. Don't think of such a Bill as I understand has got into the other House of Parliament. Don't mock us with your paltry unfencing of lands. You are calling upon the tenantry of Ireland—that tenantry of whom I have just given you a description—out of the little capital they have saved, to improve their lands, and if they happen to die within thirty years afterwards, their heirs will get some portion of the value of the improvements. When I addressed this House at the period between my conviction and sentence, I asked the Government what they were going to do for Ireland? It was no matter what became of me, my desire was that they should do something for Ireland. Though they did nothing for Ireland, they had on hand a scheme of their own which was to suppress in Ireland the expression of its sense of grievance and wrong. I got no response to my question as to what you were going to do. Let me, then, ask what now you will do for Ireland? I call upon the hon. Member for Winchester—and I feel exceedingly flattered by his attentions towards me—I call upon him to say what can the Government do for Ireland, what will the Government help me to do for Ireland? Have the manliness to meet the Irish landlords. One way in which to do good is to make such a change in the present landed system as to afford the people a chance. Do I owe an apology for adverting to this subject? I think not, for it is highly important as regards the question before us. If you want to do anything else for us from which we can expect any good at your hands, you must shape this measure in such a way as that it can be received, and come into action. It will not do for you to make admirable and eloquent speeches like the one to which I listened with pleasure but a few minutes ago — they may sound exceedingly well, but they do no good at all. Your triumphant majorities, your exclaiming "Hear, hear," your exclaiming against those who differ from you in opinion, are valueless themselves. Turn your majorities to good account, make them really useful to Ireland. The present Government is the strongest Government which has been known for a century, and you 1093 have everything in your power. Give us, then, at least, this measure in such a shape as will enable the people of Ireland to receive it as a boon. You excuse yourselves for not having consulted the ecclesiastical authorities of every description in Ireland before you brought in this Bill. I do not know what harm it would have done you to have so consulted them. You might have told them that you were not to be bound by the opinions received from them, but it would have assisted yourselves in coming to a right determination to have consulted them. The people of England will not sanction this scheme of godless education, and you must introduce religion into your system, or it will not be received by the people of Ireland. The Irish are essentially a religious people. Infidelity is unknown in Ireland. Act manfully, therefore—make religion the basis of your proceedings, and fear not. By so doing you will have a better prospect before you—you will have the protection of a higher Power if you adopt proper principles as the foundation of your scheme; but do not flatter yourselves with the idea that you are doing anything conciliating to Ireland if, in a matter of this kind, you exclude religion from your consideration. Let there be Presbyterianism for the Presbyterian, Protestantism for the Protestant, and Catholicism for the Catholic. I want nothing for the Catholic which I am not ready to assert for others. Let there be fair play and justice to all. One would think that, if you introduced religious instruction to the Colleges, you were afraid that you were introducing for the first time the elements of strife and dissension. By Heaven! are not these elements in existence at present? Are men in Ireland, not Catholics, Protestants, or Presbyterians, whether you give the instruction or not? By showing fair play to all, by giving the opportunity of a more constant and attentive observation of religious duties, and by giving more religious instruction, you will give a better chance to the development of that which is the predominant quality in the Christian religion, charity towards each other; and by thus showing fair play and justice to all, you would have a better prospect, at least, of effecting that reconciliation between creeds which is so desirable. If you fail in your présent scheme, won't you be the laughing-stock and the ridicule of the world? If you fail in the scheme of giving religious 1094 education, you would have the consolation of knowing that you had failed in a mighty and a majestic attempt—an attempt worthy of statesmen, and worthy in every way of Christian exertions. Do make an effort in the right direction, and fear not the result. Let me now remind you that the Catholic bishops of Ireland have met on this subject, that they have enunciated their opinions, and pronounced your Bills dangerous, both to faith and morals. That is the judgment which they have pronounced upon it. You may scorn their decision, and treat with levity their declaration; but I warn you to recollect that six millions and upwards of the people of Ireland treat their decision with profound respect. Recollect, too, that that decision has gone abroad among the mass of the Irish people. Conciliate the Protestants, and educate the Protestants—conciliate the Presbyterians, and educate the Presbyterians—but recollect, when you come to talk of educating the Catholics, that you must necessarily pay attention to that to which they pay attention—the decision of their bishops. Already have their bishops told them that your plan of education is dangerous both to faith and morals. When they want, by way of guarantee to them, that a number of the professors should be Catholics, it is not meant that a man calling himself a Catholic should be preferred to a Protestant, nor is it meant that a Protestant should be educated by a Catholic professor. Have you not, even in Belfast, two professors of divinity? Have you not there a double set of professors? And if you want for the protection of Protestants and Presbyterians a double set of professors, are not the Catholic bishops, whose duty it is to superintend the religious instruction of the people, justified in requiring the means of protecting the Catholics? You tell me that you will protect the Catholics. You say, that if a professor preaches infidelity, you will dismiss him. I am not satisfied with that. I mean you no disrespect, but I will not take your word for it. The bishops insist on having a power lodged in them for finding out the infidelity, and of having some voice, at least, in the dismissal of the professors who might inculcate it. I do not say that in every instance a professor of one persuasion will insinuate doctrines inimical to another. But they say we won't run the risk—that it is too awful a risk to be 1095 run. They want not to interfere with your interests—all they want is to be able to watch over their own, and they insist upon having the means of ascertaining whether that interest is not sacrificed. These are the grounds on which we stand. It is not that the bishops say that Protestantism will mislead the Catholic; all that they insist upon is, that Protestantism is capable of misleading the Catholic. This has already been exhibited in Belfast. There professors of Unitarian persuasions are accused of introducing into their lectures Unitarian matter. The fact there is already proved; and really if it was not so proved, it is in human nature that it should be so, and that the danger apprehended should exist. The hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyne (Mr. Colquhoun) stated distinctly that the professors there broached infidel opinions in giving their lectures. I think direct allusion was made to the chair of moral philosophy. [Mr. Colquhoun: To the professor of Greek.] To the professor of Greek! Now, speaking of the matter, independently of the fact that it really is so, what excellent speeches might be made in this House, what cheers might be elicited, by its being asked, "Do you suspect the professor of Greek? what has he to do with religion? he is only teaching a language, teaching the different forms of words, teaching his pupils to conjugate and the like." To say that there was any danger from him, would make us only be laughed at. And yet, this very professor of Greek is caught in the fact of inculcating infidelity upon his scholars. What do the bishops insist upon? Simply that there shall be no possibility of this in future taking place. As to your Amendments of this Bill, what in reality have you done? You have taken more power to yourselves. We want protection against you, against the Ministry of the day, whatever and whoever they may be. The Catholics require that they shall not be subject to the caprices or mistakes of the Ministry. The Ministry have not time to examine professors of anatomy and science—they must take their information from others, and, in nine instances out of ten, so long as I have been a Member of this House, we should have known the political tenets of these professors from those who appointed them. I really believe that future Ministers would take as much care of their friends, and be as sure not to promote their enemies as any 1096 Ministry have ever been. The fact is, to conciliate the people of Ireland, you must conciliate the Catholic prelates. To prepare a measure which will be acceptable to the people, you must consult the Catholic prelates. The bishops are now assembled, and you are aware as to what they should consider a sufficient protection to their religion. At present they have proclaimed the Bill dangerous to faith and morals. That is their present proclamation, and there is no sincere Catholic in Ireland who does not know that as far as religious instruction is concerned, he is bound by the decision of his bishop. Scientific instruction is another thing. But as far as religion instruction is concerned, or rather when a scheme is presented to that people, from which religious instruction is excluded, they cannot consent to receive education based upon such a principle. You may think the clamour gone which was raised in England. The clamour against the Maynooth Bill was the most senseless and atrocious display of calumny, hatred, bigotry, and bad feeling, which ever disgraced any country. That had now exhausted itself. You do not now perceive a symptom of it remaining. It has gone by, as has the snow of the past winter. You having nothing now to fear from it. You carried your Bill manfully. You did, and it did you great credit. I come not here with overweening expressions of gratitude; but I am grateful for that measure. I am here to declare that there never was a measure brought in with more complete fair play and justice, and with a more honest intention of carrying it out fairly for the people for whom it was intended. Thai measure was perfect in its kind, equal to any which ever passed through Parliament, and you are entitled to great credit for having carried it against the senseless and unjust clamour which bigotry for the time succeeded in raising against it. Take one step more, and consider whether this Bill may not be made to accord with the feelings of the Catholic ecclesiastics of Ireland. I ought not to detain you. I am not speaking here in any spirit of hostility. I should be most happy to give every assistance in my humble power to make this Bill work well. I have the most anxious wish to have the Bill work well, because I am desirous of seeing education promoted in Ireland; but even education may be misapplied power. I admit that at one time I thought the plan 1097 of a mixed education proper; and I still think that in literature and in science a system of mixed education would be proper; but with regard to religious education, I think that each denomination of Christians should be educated by their respective religious instructors. Let the students be put upon terms of perfect equality in respect to religion, and then you will have a basis laid for an equality of education in literary and scientific pursuits which would gain the cordial assent of all parties in Ireland. Certainly the Bill as it now stands may seem to confer very formidable powers on the Minister of the day in the nomination of the professors, and the degree of control which they will be enabled to exercise over these Colleges; and more especially they may appear so to a thorough Radical like myself; but I am not afraid of these powers. The smuggler meets his check in the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and so, in as far as the powers confered by this Bill are concerned, where the Ministers may acquire the means of making one man, perhaps, grateful, they, in all probability, will incur the hatred of fifty. Again, I repeat, I am most anxious for the success of this Bill; but I fairly tell you it cannot succeed without the Catholic bishops. They have the faith of six millions of people in their hands. There may have been harsh expressions in the public papers, but depend upon it great anxiety exists in Ireland to have such a measure, if you will but make it effective—and if you choose to make it effective you have it in your power. For myself I am not indisposed to vote with the noble Lord, but that is without prejudice to any better mode being considered when we come into Committee. But let me here express a hope that there will be no persevering with the Committee this night. A few days' delay may have a most important effect. I am so strongly impressed with that opinion, that I do hope that the right hon. Baronet will not proceed with the Bill in Committee tonight. However, which way soever you may decide in that respect, I trust the House will believe that what has fallen from me has been uttered in the fairest spirit of good faith. My political power elsewhere may be deemed a jest, but here it is a reality. I am ready to join in any measure that may be useful to the people of Ireland, and that may tend to do away with the spirit of disaffection existing in 1098 that country. It is not a political disaffection; it is not a religious disaffection; but it is a physical disaffection. You, Gentlemen of England, have no notion of its extent or of its intensity, and though it may not display itself at this moment sufficient to alarm you or arouse you, still the time may come, after some of us shall have gone to our graves, when that physical disaffection may have the most frightful consequences.
§ Sir Robert Inglis
had not intended, when he entered the House, to take any part in the debate of the evening, nor would he even now discuss the general subject; but he was unwilling to omit the opportunity of noticing one part of the speech of the hon. and learned Member for the county of Cork (Mr. O'Connell). That one part contained more errors than he believed had ever before been compressed into so small a compass. The hon. and learned Gentleman had, in a kind of episode and parenthesis, referred to the case of Galileo; and had alleged, that it had been most erroneously quoted as a proof of the persecution exercised by the Church of Rome towards that individual, and towards science in general. The proofs which he gave, in order to satisfy the House that the Pope and his Church had been calumniated, were two: first, that Pope, said the hon. and learned Gentleman, (he, Sir R. Inglis, took down his words at the time,) "had enabled Copernicus to publish his observations;" and could not, therefore, have been an enemy to science in general: and, secondly, Galileo, so far from having been a long time in the Inquisition, was there for three days only. Now, in the first place, the Pope, who was reigning even when Galileo was first questioned by the Inquisition, was Paul V. (Borghese), who begun to reign in 1605, and died in 1621: Copernicus died in 1543. It is scarcely necessary to say, that it would have been impossible for a Pope—beginning to reign in 1605—to have assisted any man to publish any observations, who himself had died in 1543. Then, in the next place, the hon. and learned Member stated that Galileo was "only three days in the Inquisition." Anyone who knows what the Inquisition was, would say, that three days, or even one day, was a period much too long for any one to be there confined; but, in point of fact, at the period when Galileo was actually in the hands of the 1099 Inquisition, he had been under their surveillance at least, at a distance from his home, for many months; even if he were not within their walls for more than the four days when his retractation was forced from him. Then, as to the general conclusion which, in the last place, the hon. and learned Member draws from his own statements—to the effect, that the Church of Rome was not hostile to science. Can he forget, that two of the most learned mathematicians in the last century, the Jesuit editors of Newton's works, felt compelled—even at that comparatively late period—to declare, that though they were obliged, in order to explain the Principia of Newton, to assume his facts, yet they did it, as acting the part of another person; and for themselves they declare that they held the doctrines which were sanctioned by the Church of Rome? Their expressions were "Ceterum latis à summis pontificibus decretis contrà telluris motum nos obsequi profitemur:" laying, it may be presumed, a strong emphasis, in their own pronunciation, on the word profitemur. He thought that he had now sufficiently proved, that the hon. and learned Member, whatever other merits he might possess, was not entitled to claim implicit credence to his statements of history.
§ Mr. O'Connell
said, that he would tomorrow prove that he was right, and that the hon. Baronet was wrong. If there were any mistake on his part, it was only that the act which he attributed to a Pope, was done by that same Pope when a Cardinal.
§ Mr. Sharman Crawford
said, he would always be ready to aid his countrymen in obtaining a redress of their grievances; but he must protest against the doctrine he had heard that night. If hon. Members were to be called to account by any ecclesiastical body, there was an end of their independence. Was not every hon. Member there for his Protestant and Catholic constituents alike? He claimed the right of independent action, free from the domination of any ecclesiastical authority, Catholic or Protestant. The hon. and learned Member had spoken of the "senseless cry against the Maynooth Bill." He belonged to a section of that House who had opposed the Maynooth measure from motives as honourable as those of any Gentleman in the House, feeling bound by the voluntary principle to do so; and the Catholics of Ireland ought 1100 to have adhered to that principle, and not have been parties to taking money out of the pockets of the people of England for the promotion of a religion of which the people of England disapproved.
§ Sir A. B. Brooke
protested against what had been said of the state of Fermanagh. There had not been a murder committed there for many years.
Lord Claude Hamilton
said, no man could have heard the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. O'Connell) without feeling that he who possessed such great powers of eloquence, and who could command an audience at will, had not on the present occasion been quite equal to himself. It impressed him with the belief that the hon. and learned Gentleman was unwillingly doing the work of others, in whose narrow-viewed and bigoted notions he did not coincide. What was the proposition of the hon. and learned Gentleman? Why, although many fair schemes had been shipwrecked by an endeavour to inculcate creeds which did not coincide with all parties in Ireland, yet when it was now proposed to adopt a scheme that was free from any such impeachable attempt, the hon. and learned Gentleman came forward and objected to the plan, because it did not embody the very thing which had hitherto made all attempts at establishing a general system of education in Ireland abortive. The hon. and learned Gentleman had given a description of the miseries of the people of Ireland,; but he did not, at the same time state that the Roman Catholic clergy were deriving a larger revenue than any other Church in Europe. He could not agree to the Amendment of his noble Friend, because it was his conviction that the only principle on which this measure could be successful was to leave the Colleges entirely free of all religion, trusting to the judgment of the parents and guardians the religious education of the students.
§ Mr. Shaw
begged, even at that late hour, to be allowed, in very few words, to explain the vote he was about to give. Feeling that further means of education for the middle classes were required in Ireland, and that upon the whole, and under all the complicated difficulties of the case, the Government had proposed a plan more practicable than any other that had been suggested for the purpose, he had voted for the second reading of the Bill. He was deeply sensible that there could be no real education unless upon the basis of religion, 1101 and that the present measure was deficient in that respect. The Amendment of his noble Friend, upon a general statement of it, and at first sight, struck him as calculated to give a more religious character to the measure; but upon reflection he was constrained to say that he did not think that would be its practical effect. First, because he agreed with his right hon. Friend (Sir Robert Peel) that to provide a temporary fund from the lecture fees would operate as a discouragement to private endowments; and, next, because he objected to an endowment of different religious professors, and so, he understood, did his noble Friend (Lord Mahon). He could not help feeling that there was in principle no great difference between a direct endowment by a grant of money from that House, and an enactment that by compulsory fees different religious professors should be in fact maintained. He should be glad if his noble Friend (Lord Mahon) did not divide; but if he did, then for the reasons he had stated, he should be obliged, although reluctantly, to vote against the Amendment of his noble Friend.
§ Mr. Hindley
complained of the hon. and learned Member for Cork (Mr. O'Connell) having described the opposition to the Maynooth endowment as a senseless clamour. The hon. and learned Gentleman had himself, on former occasions, spoken strongly against the Maynooth grant, and avowed himself an advocate of the voluntary principle. He had presented 1,200 petitions against the Maynooth endowment, upon the principle which had been advocated by the hon. and learned Member himself—namely, the voluntary principle; and he thought it therefore hard that their conscientious opposition should be called senseless clamour. He wished to ask the hon. and learned Gentleman whether he still adhered to the voluntary principle, and included in his censure the petitioners whose petitions he had presented.
§ Mr. O'Connell
certainly included in his censure many of the petitions presented by the hon. Member. He would undertake to-morrow to produce fifty petitions presented by him, containing the most outrageous calumnies against the Catholics of Ireland.
§ The House divided on the Question that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question:—Ayes 189; Noes 49:—Majority 140.
|List of the AYES.|
|Ackers, J.||Escott, B.|
|A'Court, Capt.||Ferguson, Sir R. A.|
|Aldam, W.||Fitzroy, hon. H.|
|Baillie, Col.||Flower, Sir J.|
|Baine, W.||Forman, T. S.|
|Baird, W.||Forster, M.|
|Barkly, H.||Fremantle, rt. hn. Sir T.|
|Baring, rt. hon. F. T.||Gaskell, J. Milnes|
|Baring, rt. hon. W. B.||Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.|
|Barnard, E. G.||Gordon, hon. Capt.|
|Barneby, J.||Gore, M.|
|Barrington, Visct.||Goulburn, rt. hon. H.|
|Bateson, T.||Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.|
|Bellew, R. M.||Granger, T. C.|
|Benbow, J.||Greene, T.|
|Bentinck, Lord G.||Gregory, W. H.|
|Blackburn, J. I.||Grimston, Visct.|
|Bodkin, W. H.||Hamilton, Lord C.|
|Boldero, H. G.||Hanmer, Sir J.|
|Borthwick, P.||Harcourt, G. G.|
|Botfield, B.||Harris, hon. Capt.|
|Bowes, J.||Hawes, B.|
|Bowles, Adm.||Hayes, Sir E.|
|Bowring, Dr.||Heneage, G. H. W.|
|Boyd, J.||Herbert, rt. hn. S.|
|Bright, J.||Hervey, Lord A.|
|Brisco, M.||Hindley, C.|
|Broadwood, H.||Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J.|
|Brooke, Sir A. B.||Hodgson, F.|
|Brotherton, J.||Hogg, J. W.|
|Bruce, Lord E.||Holmes, hn. W. A'C.|
|Bulkeley, Sir R. B. W.||Hope, hon. C.|
|Buller, E.||Hope, G. W.|
|Bunbury, T.||Hotham, Lord|
|Burroughes, H. N.||Hughes, W. B.|
|Cardwell, E.||Hutt, W.|
|Castlereagh, Visct.||Irton, S.|
|Chelsea, Visct.||Jermyn, Earl|
|Christie, W. D.||Jervis, J.|
|Chute, W. L. W.||Jocelyn, Visct.|
|Clay, Sir W.||Jones, Capt.|
|Clements, Visct.||Kirk, P.|
|Clerk, rt. hn. Sir G.||Langston, J. H.|
|Clive, hon. R. H.||Lennox, Lord A.|
|Cobden, R.||Liddell, hon. H. T.|
|Cockburn, rt. hn. Sir G.||Lincoln, Earl of|
|Collett, W. R.||Loch, J.|
|Collins, W.||Lockhart, W.|
|Copeland, Ald.||Lygon, hon. Gen.|
|Corry, rt. hon. H.||Mackenzie, T.|
|Craig, W. G.||Mackenzie, W. F.|
|Crawford, W. S.||M'Neill, D.|
|Cripps, W.||Manners, Lord C. S.|
|Damer, hon. Col.||Marjoribanks, S.|
|Davies, D. A. S.||Marsland, H.|
|Dawnay, hon. W. H.||Martin, J.|
|Denison, J. E.||Martin, C. W.|
|Dennistoun, J.||Martin, T. B.|
|Drummond, H. H.||Masterman, J.|
|Duncombe, T.||Mitchell, T. A.|
|Duncombe, hon. A.||Morgan, O.|
|Egerton, W. T.||Morison, Gen.|
|Ellice, rt. hon. E.||Nicholl, rt. hn. J.|
|Ellis, W.||Norreys, Lord|
|Elphinstone, H.||Norreys, Sir D. J.|
|Northland, Visct.||Tennent, J. E.|
|Oswald, J.||Thesiger, Sir F.|
|Peel, rt. hn. Sir R.||Thompson, Ald.|
|Peel, J.||Thornhill, G.|
|Philips, G. R.||Tower, C.|
|Plumridge, Capt.||Towneley, J.|
|Polhill, F.||Traill, G.|
|Powell, Col.||Trelawny, J. S.|
|Praed, W. T.||Trollope, Sir J.|
|Pringle, A.||Trotter, J.|
|Pusey, P.||Vesey, hon. T.|
|Repton, G. W. J.||Villiers, hon. C.|
|Rolleston, Col.||Villiers, Visct.|
|Ross, D. R.||Vivian, J. H.|
|Russell, Lord J.||Vivian, J. E.|
|Ryder, hon. G. D.||Wakley, T.|
|Sanderson, R.||Warburton, H.|
|Seymour, Sir H. B.||Wawn, J. T.|
|Shaw, rt. hon. F.||Welby, G. E.|
|Smith, rt. hn. T. B. C.||Wellesley, Lord C.|
|Smollett, A.||White, H.|
|Somerset, Lord G.||Williams, W.|
|Somerville, Sir W. M.||Winnington, Sir T. E.|
|Somes, J.||Wodehouse, E.|
|Spooner, R.||Wood, Col. T.|
|Staunton, Sir G. T.||Worsley, Lord|
|Stewart, J.||Wortley, hon. J. S.|
|Stuart, W. V.||Yorke, hon. H. R.|
|Sturt, H. C.||TELLERS.|
|Sutton, hon. H. M.||Young, J.|
|Tancred, H. W.||Baring, H.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Acheson, Visct.||James, Sir W. C.|
|Adare, Visct.||Knight, F. W.|
|Adderley, C. B.||Lambton H.|
|Anson, hon. Col.||M'Geachy, F. A.|
|Antrobus, E.||Maher, N.|
|Austen, Col.||Manners, Lord J.|
|Baring, T.||Morris, D.|
|Barron, Sir H. W.||Murphy, F. S.|
|Blake, M. J.||O'Brien, J.|
|Blake, Sir V.||O'Brien, W. S.|
|Browne, R. D.||O'Connell, D.|
|Carew, W. H. P.||O'Connell, M. J.|
|Chapman, B.||O'Connell, J.|
|Clive, Visct.||Ogle, S. C. H.|
|Colvile, C. R.,||Rashleigh, W.|
|Courtenay, Lord||Rawdon, Col.|
|Cowper, hon. W. F.||Roche, E. B.|
|Dawson, hon. T. V.||Sheridan, R. B.|
|Dickinson, F. H.||Somers, J. P.|
|Du Pre, C. G.||Sotheron, T. H. S.|
|Esmonde, Sir T.||Vane, Lord H.|
|Estcourt, T. G.||Wortley, hon. J. S.|
|Fitzroy, Lord C.|
|Glynne, Sir S. R.||Mahon, Visct.|
|Hope, A.||Wyse, T.|
|Howard, P. H.|
§ The Bill committed proformâ. Amendments made. House resumed. Bill to be recommitted.