§ MR. HUME
rose and said, that his objections to this measure remained unchanged. He referred seriatim to the arguments which had been used against it by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dorchester on the previous evening, and contended that they yet remained wholly unanswered. In the right hon. Gentleman's view, the arrangement of 1836 was a compact between the Church and the Ministry. There were to be two changes made; one of them was, that the sees of Gloucester and Bristol should be united, and that, when they were so united, a bishopric of Ripon should be created. That arrangement had been carried out. In the next place, the sees of St. Asaph and Bangor were to be joined; and, after such union should have taken place, but not before, there should be made a bishopric of Manchester. Well, that union had not taken place; and yet the noble Lord had brought in a Bill, the object of which was to create a see at Manchester. Now, that he considered altogether illegal. He contended that this Bill was a violation of the compact of 1836, when it was admitted that the true interests of the Church and of the people would best be served by an increase of the parochial system rather than by an increase of the number of bishops. This Bill proposed a misappropriation of the funds which were set apart by law for particular purposes; and it was the more unnecessary because the people of Manchester had not called for the appointment of a bishop. The whole question would be opened up again, and those who considered that the Church had no right to appropriate its revenues in this useless manner, would be disposed to push their objections further. He objected, also, to the creation of two classes of bishops; and he was not quite sure that he would not be disposed to vote with the right hon. Baronet the Member for Dorchester, and so make the Bill as bad as possible. He should oppose the Bill at every stage. The noble Lord was joining with all those who had opposed him throughout his life, and who were making use of him as a cat's-paw to get all they could. Every bishop the noble Lord succeeded in adding to the present number, would be a stick to break his own head. In the division of last night there were ninety Tories, thirty Members 459 of the Government, and only eighteen Liberals, in the majority. This was the company the noble Lord kept. [Laughter.] With these remarks, he proposed to move an Amendment, in order to see whether there would be any improvement in another division. The hon. Member then moved as an Amendment that the Speaker leave the chair on Monday next.
§ SIR W. MOLESWORTH
intended to offer every fair opposition to the Bill, but not to join in any vote which would appear to him to be giving a factious opposition. It was said that the bishops at present were not sufficient to perform their epicopal functions: why not, in that case, relieve them from their legislative duties, and thus afford them more time for their spiritual duties.
§ MR. J. COLLETT
said, he should support the hon. Member for Montrose in the course he might pursue. He had received a letter on the subject of this Bill which he would read to the House:—March 2, 1847.Sir—The public in general, and the clergy in particular, are much indebted to you for the part you have taken with respect to the union of the sees of Bangor and St. Asaph. It appears that four new bishops are to be created, and if their emoluments are to be provided for from and out of the incomes of the present bishops, and if, moreover, they are not to have a seat in the House of Lords, this addition to the episcopal bench is perhaps immaterial. At the same time, Sir, if the present bishops were to be resident in their dioceses, and to do their duty, their present number would be quite sufficient, and any overplus from their incomes might go to increase the salaries of the hardworked and ill-paid inferior clergy. In the charge recently delivered to the clergy of the diocese of Ely, the present bishop of that see urged the necessity of a resident clergy. You will scarely believe me when I tell you that, for eight months out of the twelve last year, this right rev. Lord was himself resident—in London! and even obliged the young candidates for ordination to come up from the country to town for that sacred rite. A relation of my own, who had obtained a small curacy of 90l. per annum, was thus put to great inconvenience as well as expense. 10l. or 12l. for travelling and hotel expenses may be matter of trifling moment to a bishop with 6,000l. per annum; but it is a large item when deducted from a curate's income of 90l. per annum. It was only, moreover, last week that a clergyman of the diocese of Worcester informed me that during the past year my Lord Worcester had been seven long months absent from his post—in the early spring in the Isle of Wight, in the season in London, and in the autumn at the Lakes. Verily, these spiritual Lords take things very easy. Sir, if we are to have bishops, and well-paid bishops too, let us have resident, village-visiting, pulpit-preaching overseers of the clergy and their flocks, and not, as now, London-living, concert-directing, Court-attending Prelates, who mistake polities for piety, 460 pomp for dignity, and arrogance for learning. Make what use you please of these statements, and permit me to subscribe myself your faithful servant,To J. Collett, Esq., M.P.
MR. V. SMITH
said, the right hon. Baronet the Secretary for the Home Department had said that this Bill did not pledge the House to the appointment of the three additional bishops. If so, why retain the words to that effect in the preamble and the second clause? The right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir J. Graham) had said, that in the Committee he should move that the preamble be not postponed. Now, he (Mr. V. Smith) might not be prepared so to depart from the usual course, and therefore he wished to know whether the noble Lord was prepared to erase from the preamble those words relating to the three additional bishoprics? In the second clause also there were these words—"That the number of Lords spiritual now sitting and voting as Lords of Parliament shall not be increased by the creation of the above-named four new bishoprics." He thought that the words "four new" might be left out of that portion of the clause, and that the clause should read—"that the number of Lords spiritual now sitting and voting as Lords of Parliament shall not be increased by the creation of the above-named bishopric;" the reference being then to the bishopric of Manchester. He thought it desirable that the words he had alluded to should be struck out of the clause, as their retention might possibly be considered as implying a sanction of the principle of creating three other new bishoprics; which principle had nothing to do with the principle of the present Bill, but was merely mentioned in it incidentally. If his suggestions were complied with, then the only question to be raised in Committee would be that given notice of by the right hon. Member for Dorchester, as to whether or not the new bishops should have seats in the House of Lords.
§ SIR J. GRAHAM
said, he agreed in the alterations suggested by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. V. Smith) in the preamble and second clause of the Bill, as far as they went; but even if the noble Lord consented to withdraw that part of the preamble to which the right hon. Gentleman had referred, he should still seek to amend the preamble; because it had not been quite accurately stated by the right hon. Gentleman that the question of the creation of three other new bishoprics, and of the 461 right to sit in the House of Lords, were not involved in the same portion of the preamble. There was a passage in it where, so far from those questions being-kept separate, they were involved together. He should therefore, object to the whole of the passage, because, by implication, it admitted the principle that three other bishoprics should be created, and also that the four new bishops should not have seats in the House of Lords. The passage in the preamble, to which he referred was as follows:—And also, as soon as conveniently might be, three other additional bishoprics, regard being had to the circumstances that Her Majesty did not contemplate the issue of Her writ to the new bishops to sit and vote as Peers of Parliament, except as vacancies should from time to time occur among the bishops of England and Wales, now so sitting and voting.To the whole of that passage he should object, and move that it be omitted.
MR. V. SMITH
said, it appeared that he had not made himself completely understood. He agreed with the right hon. Baronet that the two questions were involved together in the preamble; and it was because he thought so that he had asked the noble Lord to omit a portion of the preamble.
LORD J. RUSSELL,
before adverting to the question put by his right hon. Friend, wished first to say a few words with reference to the statement of the hon. Member for Montrose, which that hon. Member founded on the speech of the right hon. Baronet opposite—namely, that the present Bill sanctioned the violation of a compact. Now, the whole of the statement on this point, contained in the first report of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and which was signed by the individuals to whom the right hon. Baronet had already alluded—the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Lyndhurst, the Bishop of London, Sir R. Peel, &c.—was to the effect, "that they were not prepared to recommend any increase in the total number of episcopal sees." Now, to say because these Commissioners, upwards of ten years ago, were not prepared to recommend an increase in the number of the bishops, that that should bar for all time any Government against increasing the number of the bishops, was, as he had said the other day, carrying the doctrine of finality to an extraordinary extent. The hon. Member for Montrose had also been pleased to refer to the authority of the right hon. Baronet (Sir J, Graham) in 462 support of his allegation that it was impossible, in consequence of what he designated a compact formerly entered into, to proceed with the present Bill, or to create new bishoprics, entirely forgetting the important circumstance that the right hon. Baronet had expressed his readiness to go into Committee on the Bill; and not only to do that, but also in Committee to maintain the separation of the sees of St. Asaph and Bangor, which, by an existing Act of Parliament, were to be united, and likewise to consent, under the circumstances of the case, to the creation of the new bishopric of Manchester. Such an authority, in support of a compact which would be broken by the creation of more bishoprics, was certainly never before produced in that House. He should now refer to his right hon. Friend's (Mr. V. Smith's) question. The right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham) argued, that though it was right to assent to the two propositions contained in the Bill for repealing the Act of Parliament which would unite the two sees of St. Asaph and Bangor, and for the creation of the bishopric of Manchester, it was nevertheless proper to stop there, and not to agree to the creation of any more bishoprics; and that, as there was one bishop thereby to be created, it would not be proper to violate the general rule and law of the constitution, by which every bishop on his nomination was entitled to a seat in the House of Lords. Without going much into detail on that question, he begged the House, before going into Committee, to observe how the whole argument on the point hung together. If it were right only to assent to the present measure as one merely in some degree giving satisfaction to the Principality of Wales, and at the same time remedying particular defects in the diocese of Chester, then it followed logically and fairly that, having only one new bishop, it would not be right to establish a new rule, and to make that one bishop an exception to all the rest, the. addition of another prelate to the number already in Parliament not being such an addition as needed to alarm any one on the score of ecclesiastical preponderance in the House of Lords. He admitted that in that case all the argument of the right hon. Baronet was logical and consequential. But the Government took quite a different view of this question. The Government did not think it would be wise to say that there should be only one additional bishop, and that the wants of episcopal superintendence 463 would be satisfied by the creation of that single bishop. The Government thought, and had advised Her Majesty to issue a Commission declaring the same view, that other dioceses which had greatly increased in population should also be divided, the present bishops therein being relieved of part of their duties; and that, instead of one new bishop, four new bishops should be created. Now, he thought, notwithstanding all that had been so ably stated by the right hon. Baronet, that the Government had grounds for coming to that decision. He could not think, that it was enough to say, "Here is a sum of money, some 16,000l. a year, required for the payment of four new bishoprics; and that sum would maintain a number of working clergy." It appeared to him that they must regulate the machinery of the Church according to the circumstances of the times. With respect to what might be the peculiar duties of the bishops, he differed very much from the right hon. Baronet opposite. He was not going to make any exaggerated statement as to those duties; but all he maintained was, that having a Church which was intended for the population of this country, it was fit from time to time to adapt the Government, the machinery, and the regulating powers of that Church to the circumstances of the day, and to the increased number of the population. He believed that this was done by all other religious communions. With respect to the Roman Catholic religion, when it was found that the members of that community increased, the number of the bishops or vicars apostolic was increased. The Presbyterians and Wesleyans would likewise increase the number of their districts and stations in proportion to the number of their flocks. The union of the Church of England with the State ought not to prevent it enjoying the same advantage. It ought not to be the only religious communion in the country which should not increase the number of the governing and regulating heads of its Church, while, at the same time, pastors among the inferior clergy and the population had increased. If the counties of Lancaster and Chester had increased in population from 300,000 or 400,000, at the most, to 2,000,000, and if the number of the clergy had gone on increasing in a similar proportion, it was but reasonable, if one bishop was formerly adequate for those 300,000 or 400,000 persons, and a proportionate number of clergy, to believe, when the population and 464 the clergy had increased so much in numbers, that two might now be required for the proper discharge of the present duties. In saying this, he did not think he was stating anything which showed an inordinate love of episcopacy. It seemed to him to be a principle belonging to every communion, ecclesiastical or civil, to every commercial house, and to every railway company, that in proportion to the quantity of business done should be the amount of the superintendents at the head of the establishment. Such would be the rule followed by any rational body of men, looking only to the good management of the concern to which they belonged. He admitted that the right hon Baronet was perfectly consequential in his proposal; and now he begged the attention of the House while, in answering the question of his right hon. Friend (Mr. V. Smith), he showed that it would be hardly consistent with the views of the Government to agree to his proposition. The usual Motion, after the House resolved into Committee on a Bill, was that the preamble should be postponed; but he confessed that he thought in the present case the preamble to be so important, as containing the propositions to be carried into effect, that instead of making that usual Motion he should propose in Committee that the preamble should be immediately proceeded with, and should not be postponed. They would then come to the recital that Her Majesty had issued this Commission. As a recital, it did not bind the House or Parliament; and it might be the opinion of Parliament that no other bishop should be created; but at the same time the Government thought that the recital was proper, in order to lay a groundwork for the second clause, which set forth that the Bishop of Manchester was not to sit in Parliament. He agreed with his right hon. (Mr. V. Smith) that the words in the second clause, "The above-named four new bishoprics," ought not to be introduced, because, being in an enacting clause, they seemed to refer to an enactment; but with respect to the preamble, it set forth merely the terms in which Her Majesty had directed the Commission to be issued, and consequently only contained the statement of a fact. It was not a question on which the House was asked to legislate; but in making the statement of a fact, he thought it laid a foundation for the second clause. If the Government merely intended that there should be a Bishop of Manchester, and had not at all 465 in contemplation that there should be any other bishoprics hereafter, then he thought it might be just to say that the new bishop should sit with the rest in the House of Lords. That, he admitted, would be a fair argument; and such he understood to be the view of the right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham). But while he would not ask the House to bind itself that there should be four new bishoprics, so that the House, on being acquainted with the report of the Commissioners, might hereafter come to the conclusion that there should be two, or three, or five new bishops, according as it thought the preferable number; yet he believed that the House should lay some foundation of the kind in the preamble, if it meant to assent to the principle proposed by the Government that the new bishops should not sit in the House of Lords. As the right hon. Baronet's proposal was perfectly logical and consequential, so, likewise, was the proposal of the Government. The Government thought that there was a sufficient number of bishops already in the House of Lords to represent the Church in that House of Parliament. They thought that the increase of the ecclesiastical power in the House of Lords, by the addition of four new bishops, might justly give rise to jealousies, especially among those who dissented from the Church of England. The Government, therefore, proposed that the new Bishop of Manchester, and the other new bishops mentioned in the present Bill, should for a certain time not be Members of the House of Lords. Thus, supposing each bishop should occupy his see for twenty-four years, still the succession of the bishops in the House of Lords must proceed at such a rate that on the average more than a year or two could not elapse before one of the excluded bishops would enter into Parliament. He would call the attention of the House to the statement in the first report of the Commissioners in regard to the expenses of the bishops and archbishops. The report stated—That in considering the income of bishops and archbishops, regard should not only be had to the expenses incurred in journeys for ordinations, consecrations, &c, in maintaining a house in London—in keeping up a dignified hospitality—in contributing to all objects connected with religion and charity; but to a burden which pressed heavily upon newly-created bishops—the unavoidable expenses of their appointment—expenses which swallowed up a whole year's income in large sees, and more than a year's income in small ones.466 If that were the case, he thought it to be desirable that the bishop on his first creation should not be put to the additional expense of having a house in London, and attending constantly in the House of Lords, and also to the inconvenience of being kept away from his diocese, at a moment when it was desirable that he should form an acquaintance with the clergy and circumstances of his diocese. For this reason it was, that when the proposal was made to the bishops generally that for a time the new bishops should not have a seat in the House of Lords, the Archbishop of Canterbury was able to inform him, that though he had expected that that proposal would meet with a good deal of objection, he found but little urged to it, the bishops taking those circumstances into consideration. With these views while he should assent to the amendment of the second clause, by omitting the words referred to by his right hon. Friend, he was not prepared to change the preamble or to make other changes in the Bill. He repeated, that he thought that the right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham) was consequential and consistent in his proposition; but he considered the scheme of the Government to be the better of the two. Under the circumstances he proposed that, on going into Committee, the preamble should be immediately considered, and not postponed, as usual.
§ MR. TRELAWNY
thought there could be no doubt the Government intended to extend the alliance between the State and the Church. The Government had a certain sum of money to dispose of, and the question before them was, what were they to do with it? He considered one of the best modes of appropriating it would be in educating the people, in giving them un-sectarian education. Another would be to employ it in increasing the efficiency of the working clergy. Many members of that useful body existed on miserable stipends. It had been shown that some of them had but the wages of a day labourer, while thousands were spent in building palaces for bishops. He approved of the voluntary principle, and objected to the present mea-sure that it favoured one particular sect; its only effect would be to make jealous and! hostile sectarians, and an idle clergy. He thought the use of bishops had been much exaggerated; what was the rationale of the institution of bishops? It was to enforce good discipline among the clergy, and ensure uniformity of doctrine. How far 467 had the episcopacy obtained those results in the Church of England? Doctrine changed from one day to another; were any two members of the Church prepared to write down their doctrinal opinions separately and compare them? Would they be found identical? On the contrary, scarcely two men could be found holding precisely the same opinions on points of faith. In proof of this, he need only advert to the difference of opinion between the Tractarian and Low Church party; could any one say they were partakers of the same form of belief? He much questioned whether bishops had not in some cases done more harm than good to the Church. In the part of the country from which he came, he had known the interference of the bishop do more harm than good, though it was undertaken with the best intentions. The right rev. Prelate was animated by the desire to benefit the Church; but he had certainly done mischief. He could point out instances in which the "taking order," as it was called by the bishop, had set the diocese on fire from end to end, bringing scandal on the Church, and making the Dissenters outrageous against it. The working clergy were a useful body of men; they often acted as the physicians and lawyers of the people as well as ministers, and frequently with incomes amounting to little more than the interest on the money spent on their education. If the bishops were overworked, they might be relieved from their legislative functions in the other House of Parliament. Altogether, he thought it would he better to postpone the measure, that the subject might be thoroughly considered in another Session and another Parliament.
§ MR. ENTWISLE
objected to the description given by the hon. Member for Tavistock (Mr. Trelawny) of the rationale of the office of bishops; he said they were only placed in the Church to secure discipline and uniformity of opinion. He would not enter on the question that must be involved in any discussion of the constitution and order of bishops. But he must express his surprise that any member of the Church should say he saw no more than this in the episcopacy of this country. He believed the opinion of the hon. Member would be disclaimed by the great body of the Church of England, and thought the statement ought not to pass uncontradicted in that House. The hon. Member, in his liberality, might feel at liberty to show no fa- 468 vour to that Church; but, as long as the connexion between Church and State was part of the theory of the constitution, it would become the hon. Member, at least in his legislative capacity, to adopt the theory the State adopted, and recognize the Church as a part of the constitution. If he disapproved of it, he might make a proposition to repeal that part of the constitution; but, as long as it existed, he was bound, as a legislator, to acknowledge it. With regard to the measure itself, and the second clause of it, he adhered to the opinion he had before briefly expressed—that it would be better to exclude the new bishop permanently from a seat in the House of Lords, than to disturb the privilege attached to the old sees, which had always entitled their bishops to sit in Parliament as temporal Peers. If they thought the whole number of bishops in Parliament ought not to be finally increased, it would be better to exclude the new bishops altogether, than to make the Bill not only a measure of enactment but of deprivation. They had no right to introduce the principle of deprivation, or to trench on the privileges of the ancient sees. He should vote for the retention of the second clause, but should wish to exclude all that part of the measure which established the principle of rotation to the vacancies in seats in the House of Lords for the several dioceses.
§ MR. ROEBUCK
said, in treating the measure before the House, he should sweep away at once all that class of objections to the Bill in which he did not coincide. He did not agree with those who objected to the exclusion of the new bishops from seats in the House of Lords; he did not object to this proposition, because he thoroughly concurred with the feeling expressed by the noble Lord, that a great part of the public would view with great suspicion the increased influence it would give to the Church Establishment; he thought it would be extremely unwise in any Government to add to that suspicion, by increasing the number of irresponsible legislators in the other House of Parliament. It should be recollected, that bishops did not come to the House of Peers with the same associations as the hereditary nobility. However much the hereditary Peers might be irresponsible, still they were surrounded by asciations which necessarily governed their conduct, and made them obedient to public opinion. He conceived, that the portion of the House of Lords composed of the ecclesiastical body could not have any of 469 those peculiar safeguards which surrounded the hereditary aristocracy. The bishops were not usually sent to the House of Lords from anything but very peculiar family connexions; it could not be said they were any assistance to the legislation of the country; he therefore agreed with the noble Lord, there could be no wisdom in increasing the number of the bench of bishops. He did not share the feeling expressed against establishing the principle of the bishops sitting in the House by rotation; it was not a new principle—it had been established many years with regard to the Irish bishops: one year the seats were held by one set of Prelates, another year by another; nor had he ever heard any apprehensions entertained of a disruption of the episcopal bench as likely to be the consequence of that system of rotation. Neither did he believe any danger more than that inherent in the institution itself was likely to arise from the principle proposed that those bishoprics that had hitherto conferred on their holders a seat in the Peers, should no longer necessarily confer that privilege, but that the same number of seats should be distributed among a larger number of bishops. By a sort of fiction, though originally there was some reason for it, the bishops were supposed to sit in the House of Peers by right of certain baronies supposed to be hereditary in their bishoprics; consequently, being supposed to be barons, they were summoned to Parliament in that character. So strong was this principle that the Crown might omit to summon any one bishop, and yet it would have a perfect House of Lords. He now came to his serious objections to the Bill. The noble Lord, by an accident not very common to Administrations of which he was the head, found himself in possession of a surplus revenue; by an arrangement made before by Parliament, a surplus revenue had been extracted out of funds applied to ecclesiastical purposes. They had heard no complaints that the diminished revenue of the present bishops had, in any way, made them less efficient for their spiritual and episcopal purposes. It might excite some ridicule, but he was bound to say, his abstract notion of a bishop did not include the idea of a legislator. His notion of a bishop was derived from the New Testament; he thought a bishop was a spiritual overlooker of certain other portions of the Church. Then came the question of what the overlooker ought to do: though his 470 hon. Friend (Mr. Trelawny) had been taken to task for it, he had very accurately described the spiritual purposes for which the office of bishop was instituted. He had named them correctly; the end was to enforce the canonical rules, to impress them upon the clergy, that they might be fitted for clerical and spiritual purposes. [Mr. ENTWISLE: Ordination.] The hon. Gentleman might attach an important idea to the word ordination; but he (Mr. Roebuck) did not want to enter into that kind of discussion; and the hon. Gentleman should recollect when he accused his (Mr. Roebuck's) hon. Friends of deviation from the constitution, he was arguing in the way he did not intend. According to the doctrine held by the hon. Gentleman, in his character as legislator, sitting in Parliament he ignored any preference he might have for a peculiar religion; the moment he crossed the Tweed he contended that the Church of England was the Established Church, totally regardless of his own dogmata; so that, as a legislator, he had an elastic conscience even in that particular. There was in fact no part of our dominion in which the principle laid down by his hon. Friend, and caught at by the noble Lord, did not prevail, or was not acknowledged and acted upon. What in India were the dominant religions but Mahommedan and Hindoo? what in Lower Canada but Roman Catholic? what in Scotland but the Presbyterian? And in England, they had the Episcopal Church established by law. He then returned to the point at issue. The noble Lord, by that accident so marvellous, had a surplus—positively a surplus; and what at this juncture of strange events were they required in reason to do with the surplus? They might talk from this time to November next about the beneficent business of bishops; but to this question, in reality and gravity, did they come at last. There was a surplus from the ecclesiastical property; and they, the people of England, wanted to know how this was to be applied. What was the plain feeling, the palpable opinion, among the people of this country? What, whether they met their countrymen gathered together in a body, in the highways, or in a populous town—no matter where they found the educated and intellectual men—what was that principle which all were heard to echo and describe and accept as the true one? Why, that there should be no political difference arising out of religious feelings. And what was the proposal before the 471 House?—what but, in the end, to apply the proceeds of the revenues of this country belonging to the people of England? The Church was the people—it was not the clergy; therefore, he asserted, this property from the ecclesiastical fund belonged to the people, and of right should be applied to the purposes they pointed out. Now, what at this moment did the people most require? Surely not bishops; or, if they must have bishops, surely they could do without the pomp of palaces, costing thousands of pounds; surely this was not absolutely essential to the existence of spiritual overlookers? Were the men whose profession involved the acknowledgment of the humility of their nature—were the successors of the Apostles so especially nice in their associations, so particulary luxurious in their habits, that they could not make the Gospel reverenced, and carry out all possible episcopal purposes, without palaces costing 60,000l.? Yet this hon. Gentleman opposite meant, or they meant nothing; and this they recommended as the object of a stray surplus, and at a time when their ears rang with the cries of starving millions in Ireland—when there was starvation in England, and starvation, alas! also in Scotland. Why he would say it was a shame, a mockery and a shame, that, in the dire and dreadful condition of their countrymen, they should squander a surplus to grant to the famishing as the only legislative comfort another bishopric. What did the hon. Member for Tavistock say was another resource—educate the people. Did they not recollect the day when the noble Lord incribed on his banners the Appropriation Clause? And did they hear anything then of new bishoprics? Now, however, there was little care for education; the educators now were first thought of; and they were asked to apply the surplus of the English Church to make four useless, well-paid, nay over-paid, luxuriously-housed bishops—this, too, at a day when the people were straining every nerve and directing every energy to escape from that jeopardy into which sudden calamities had plunged them—this, of all times, was the time chosen for erecting four such spectacles of luxury and inutility. The noble Lord might remember a suggestion which he (Mr. Roebuck) had tendered some weeks ago, having reference to the wisdom and propriety of dropping Bills that were sure not to pass—a suggestion, he might remark, which had not been received with any very kindly 472 feelings by the noble Lord, but which, as a prophecy, had been fulfilled to the letter. The advice had been ultimately, perforce, accepted, though it could not then be followed with much grace; and what were the Bills which the noble Lord had thought fit to withdraw as the least valuable of the Ministerial list? There was one, admitted by the noble Lord himself and his noble Colleague at the head of the Woods and Forests, peculiarly affecting the welfare of the people—the Health of Towns Bill; that one which he (Mr. Roebuck) had pointed out to the noble Lords as not likely to be passed, which they could not pass, though it was the one they most earnestly attempted to pass. There was another measure affecting Ireland, applying to the incumbrances on Irish estates, described by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tamworth—who was afterwards re-echoed by the noble Lord, as the most important of all the important Bills of the Session; and this, too, had gone in the general rout. These were the Bills brought in with great show of care, with many flourishes indicating concern for the condition of the people; frequently, in the course of the Session, represented to the House as of the utmost consequence; and these were the Bills which by some fatality in the crush of public business had been remorselessly cast aside. Amid the direful evils by which the people of Ireland and England had been beset, "these," said the noble Lord, "shall all go; but there is one thing near to my heart—the making one bishop, and the promise to make three more." And so, at this time of day, when their very hours were numbered, the noble Lord kept them there, in that stifling and overheated atmosphere—though it was the coldest he (Mr. Roebuck) had been in for many hours—working and sweating for the purpose of carrying out a Bill for the preposterous purpose of bestowing on the country four additional bishops. They had been charged with wasting time that Session; but with this climax they would not be amenable to the imputation of having done nothing. Was there ever such a selection, was there ever such an insult to any body of men? Why, of all his other measures, had the noble Lord adhered with most fondness to that most likely to call forth the cheers of hon. Gentlemen sitting on the Opposition side of the House? They were now all going to have a great fight with hon. Gentlemen opposite; and every one who now cheered 473 on the noble Lord, would take advantage of this very proceeding. The noble Lord was preparing an ordeal for himself when he went to his constituents of London, who, it was to be hoped, would again make him their representative. This would make one point in their catechism. In the very exultation of their hearts, those whom it might be supposed he would win over, would first put the question for the hearing of others—"Did you not propose four new bishops?" And were they not all on that side of the House in the same boat with the noble Lord—were they not all dragged into the danger of this most fatal selection? Then they had a right to raise their voices in complaint; and, indeed, if the noble Lord had exercised his utmost ingenuity with malice aforethought to do them and himself an injury, this, of all others, was the Bill which he would have pitched upon for especial approval and support. On that ground he objected to such a proposal as that now made by the noble Lord. He should have objected to it at any time: he objected to it particularly at this time. He was utterly unable to conceive how the noble Lord, in the midst of our national difficulties, and conscious, also, of the jealousy and suspicion prevailing in every class of the community of any increase in church power, could have brought in a Bill which had, on the face of it, that grand mark which no human being could misunderstand, and based on the principle of setting up one section of the English world, on account of religion, and by religion, above all others. If it had been, as an hon. Gentleman had observed, creating four bishops without reference to one religion or the other—to Methodism, or Mahommedism, or Catholicism, then the folly would be socially harmless. It would not be a preference of one body of men, politically, in other respects, equal, over another; but this was setting up prominently the people of the Church of England, and making them again a mark for every Dissenter of every shade to point at. But, argued the noble Lord, the institution already existed—we are only going to extend it. Why, the noble Lord must know that Maynooth existed before we meddled with it, and so long as it was in the background, in its old form, no outcry was raised against it. The hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford used to get up once a year and make his well-remembered speech—stereotyped, it might be called—for the satisfaction of the hon. 474 Member for Montrose, and that was all; the blow fell impotent, like the javelin of the weak old Priam. Then all was quiet, the sin was left especially to the care of the hon. Baronet; but when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tamworth proposed to extend the Maynooth grant, the feeling arose from one end of the country to the other that this was an increase of the power of Catholicism—that it was creating distinction between religious sects—that it was granting to the one what was withheld from the other. The whole kingdom was stirred, all classes were excited; the old sentiments of religious intolerance got abroad; and at this moment, they would have to encounter it in whatever corner they were to travel. This was the effect of the advance of the right hon. Baronet; and the noble Lord, unmindful of the consequences, was doing exactly the same thing; and for what purpose? Was there any sort of justification for it? The noble Lord had told them that the population had increased, and that the superintendent functions of the bishop must be proportiond in activity to the Protestant flock. Had the noble Lord ascertained if the Catholics and Dissenters had increased? The noble Lord pointed to Manchester. Manchester of all places! Had the noble Lord taken any pains to ascertain how many Catholics and how many Dissenters there were in the increased population of Manchester. If he had inquired, the noble Lord would have found that in that district the large majority of the increase was composed of Catholics and Dissenters. Therefore, these bodies must not be numbered among the population requiring more bishops. They were informed, however, very complacently, that bishops were necessary to the welfare of the Church. Now, let the condition of the bishops be compared with that of the working clergymen. Was there no danger in the contrast? Let the noble Lord cast his eyes back to the memorable year of 1789, and ask himself what it was that enabled the French populace to put down and conquer the nobles of that country. It was because the working clergymen were ill-treated, underpaid, reduced in condition as gentlemen, yet expected to perform all the duties of highly educated men, and to maintain their position as leaders of the people, upon a miserable stipend—all that was left to them by the aristocratic avarice of the higher and dignified clergy. So in England now, as the hon. Gentleman the Member for Cock- 475 ermouth showed, we had some thousand educated gentlemen, acting as clergymen of the Church of England, inculcating, as undoubtedly they did, much of useful learning and sound morality, by example and precept, and labouring in their vocation on the miserable wages of something under 100l. a year. And at the same time, we lavished, with an extravagance which was criminal, on a dozen high people—truly ornaments of the Church—sums that would be adequate to the pay of hundreds of hardworking subordinates. With the bishops came the palaces. Why, if there was one thing more than another which should call down the indignation of Providence, so often suggested when aid was given to Roman Catholic fellow-subjects, it was this; and it was surprising that those hon. Gentlemen so fond of arming themselves with God's thunder, had not levelled their customary weapons at the proposal. He wanted to know, would the money of the people of England be better employed in making these four bishops, or in educating the people, or in paying the working clergy? How were they to benefit the people by passing this Bill? Then the other question was, would they in this way benefit the Church? Hon. Gentlemen opposite replied in the affirmative; their cheers, of which he had read, and which he heard, were very easy to understand. But they might learn, in spite of the old doctrine, from an enemy, and of course they looked upon him as one. They might depend upon it, there never was so mischievous a thing done to the Church as accepting this proposition. They might depend upon it, that all the enemies of the Church would lay their hands on this blot, and point their finger eternally at this stain upon their escutcheon. No doubt, a different opinion was entertained by those who favoured the Bill. The noble Lord had intended to do no harm; but certainly it must have been the fatal influence which, this Session, had attended his Administration, that had induced him to attempt to give Parliamentary life to such a proposal. With these remarks he would conclude, without calling on the House to divide again. He had freed his mind from the load by which it had been oppressed. It should not be said that he had been a party to the proceeding. He was prepared to be accused as an enemy to the Church; but, incurring that odium, he would be content with saying that he considered he best promoted the true interests of that body called 476 the clergy of the Established Church of this country, by enabling them as a class to become working, worthy, and meritorious ministers of religion; able, as they were wishful, to educate the people whom they had in charge, and by freeing them from the anxieties with which, as gentlemen of high feeling, they must be beset, in finding themselves in a condition of helpless poverty, and incapable by position of effectually discharging the duties of the holy office to which they had been called.
§ MR. BROTHERTON
said, that, however he might be opposed to the principle of the Bill, he had ever paid high respect to the opinions of the House. After two majorities, against the opponents of the Bill, of which he was in the proportion of six to one, he thought further opposition useless, and recommended that they should go into Committee, in order to urge their objections in detail.
§ MR. B. ESCOTT
could not agree with the doctrine of the hon. Member who spoke last, that because two divisions had taken place with large majorities in favour of the Bill, the opponents of it should rest content, or that this was any reason why those who represent the people in this House should not divide again. [Mr. DISRAELI and Lord G. BENTINCK: Hear!] Yes, the hon. Member and the noble Lord might cheer; but he would be glad to know if the people they represented, or wished to represent, were favourable to the Bill? They would allow him, humble as he was, to say he thought no great body of the people had expressed any opinion in favour of this Bill. The hon. Member for Shrewsbury had done him the honour of cheering him when he spoke of the representatives of the people. He honoured that hon. Member for his abilities, which had given him a fair claim to stand before any portion of the people to represent them in Parliament; but he wished the hon. Member would ask the farmers of Buckingham, the next meeting of them he attended, to propound either popular opinions or liberal principles, if they were all of one mind, and all determined to have four new bishops. He doubted if the hon. Member would find the agricultural mind unanimous on this point. He wanted to know the hon. Member's reasons for supporting this Bill. He had formerly endeavoured to gain enlightenment from the philosophical lessons with which the hon. Member was wont to enliven the political discussions in that House; and he wanted to know his reasons 477 and arguments on this occasion also. The noble Lord the Member for Lynn had not yet stated to the House the arguments on which he thought this great increase to the power of the Church should be advocated. There was a large body of the agricultural community who from the highest to the lowest, had great confidence in his ability and consistent character; and in justice to them the noble Lord should state his reasons for supporting it. After the speech of his hon. and learned Friend who had just sat down, he must be a bold man indeed who thought he could add much to the arguments against the Bill. That speech would not only stamp his hon. and learned Friend as a defender of the rights and liberties of the people, but would show that his hon. and learned Friend ranked amongst the truest defenders of the Church—for surely those were the best friends of the Church who would not vote for its aggrandizement at the expense of the interests of the humbler classes of the community. An hon. Gentleman who had spoken said they had no right to complain of this measure, because it did not propose to take any money from the people. But the question was, not where the money came from, but whether the money they had at their disposal was to be properly applied. He wanted the hon. Member for Shrewsbury to prove that it was for the interests of the people and the Church that the money which had accrued under the Ecclesiastical Commission, and was available for educational purposes and the benefit of the Church, could not be more properly applied than to the creation of four bishoprics. He should not be deterred from doing his duty by any taunts of factious opposition, which was the common language of those who held office, or wished to retain the present holders in office for selfish purposes of their own. Such a Bill as the present might secure their temporary retainment of office, but it would lead as certainly to their final ruin.
§ The House divided on the question that the Speaker do leave the Chair:—Ayes 63; Noes 18: Majority 45.
|List of the AYES.|
|Acland, T. D.||Buller, C.|
|Antrobus, E.||Cholmondeley, hon. H.|
|Bannerman, A.||Christie, W. D.|
|Baring, rt. hon. W. B.||Clive, Visct.|
|Bentinck, Lord G.||Colebrooke, Sir T. E.|
|Borthwick, P.||Cowper, hon. W. F.|
|Bowles, Adm.||Denison, J. E.|
|Brown, W.||Dickinson, F. H.|
|Disraeli, B.||Newdegate, C. N.|
|Duckworth, Sir J. T.||Nicholl, rt. hon. J.|
|Dundas, Adm.||O'Brien, A. S.|
|Dundas, Sir D.||Parker, J.|
|Entwisle, W.||Plumptre, J. P.|
|Ferguson, Sir R. A.||Plumridge, Capt.|
|Frewen, C. H.||Polhill, F.|
|Gaskell, J. M.||Repton, G. W. J.|
|Goulburn, rt. hon. H.||Rich, H.|
|Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.||Richards, R.|
|Greene, T.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.||Ryder, hon. G. D.|
|Hamilton, G. A.||Sandon, Visct.|
|Hatton, Capt. V.||Somerville, Sir W. M.|
|Hawes, B.||Stuart, J.|
|Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J.||Thesiger, Sir F.|
|Hope, A.||Tollemache, J.|
|Hornby, J.||Tufnell, H.|
|Jervis, Sir J.||Turner, E.|
|Labouchere, rt. hon. H.||Vivian, J. E.|
|Law, hon. C. E.||Wortley, hon. J. S.|
|Legh, G. C.||Wynn, rt. hn. C. W. W.|
|Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B.||TELLERS.|
|Maule, rt. hon. F.||Hill, Lord M.|
|Mundy, E. M.||Ebrington, Visct.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Aglionby, H. A.||Molesworth, Sir W.|
|Aldam, W.||Philips, M.|
|Brotherton, J.||Roebuck, J. A.|
|Clements, Visct.||Thornely, T.|
|Collett, J.||Trelawny, J. S.|
|Currie, R.||Wakley, T.|
|Duke, Sir J.||Williams, W.|
|Horsman, E.||Hume, J.|
|M'Taggart, Sir J.||Osborne, B.|
§ House in Committee. On the Motion that the preamble be read,
§ MR. B. OSBORNE
thought the noble Lord was dragging himself and his Friends to ruin. He had no prejudice against factious opposition, which, when directed against bad measures, might be a very good thing. But why divide that the Chairman might ask leave to sit again? God knew he had no wish to sec Mr. Greene sit in that chair again.
§ MR. B. ESCOTT
could not join in opposing the consideration of this Bill in Committee, after the decision of the House.
§ MR. ROEBUCK
said, it was quite clear that if they persevered they would be attempting to make a minority the tyrant over a majority in a deliberative assembly; 479 but he thought they were bound to pay respect to the decision of the House. He hoped the hon. Gentleman would not press his Motion to a division.
§ MR. WAKLEY
was prepared to avail himself of the power given by the forms of the House, which had been established because their forefathers saw the necessity of giving this protective power to the minority. These forms were not mere words, they were necessary for the protection of the minority. If in all cases the will of the majority were to be the rule and governing power, the minority in this country would have no power or influence whatever. Then arose the question whether the minority, if it were sincere in opposing the measure, ought to carry the rule of the House to its extremity, and exercise to its utmost limit the power which the forms of the House conferred. In this case it was very clear that several hon. Members considered that they were perfectly justified in exercising those powers which were bestowed on the minority for the maintenance of public privileges by that House. Was this one of those cases? He must say that he thought it was. He took leave, after mature reflection, to express the opinion that this was one of those cases. It must not be inferred that the minority who opposed this Bill were unfriendly to the Established Church: that would be a most unfair inference. He could say that he, for one, had always been friendly to the Church, believing it the most tolerant religious institution in the world. The Church ought to have its just weight and influence in the country; and he had always thought that the presence of the bishops in the House of Lords was injurious to the utility of the Protestant Church of England. He should think it a very great evil to add to the number of spiritual Peers. If they did not persevere in their opposition to this measure, it might be said out of doors that they had an opportunity of preventing the Bill from being enacted, since the forms furnished them with such an opportunity; and yet, having made declarations of opinion, when the actual struggle arrived, they shrunk from it, and showed that they were not sincere. The noble Lord at the head of the Government seemed to have a peculiar mania to commit suicide, and he was at it again. The noble Lord ought to know what he was about, from the manner in which he was 480 cheered on the other side of the House. The noble Lord, in his zeal for the Church and episcopacy, did really not understand what he was doing. But on that (the Opposition) side of the House the thing was perfectly well comprehended; and if the noble Lord pursued the course he was now pursuing, the exercise of his (Mr. Wakley's) functions would be very soon again required. He could not forget that the noble Lord was a reformer when a reformer was detested and maligned; he remembered the noble Lord's services, he appreciated them, and the recollection of them would remain with him so long as he had memory; he was sorry, therefore, to see the noble Lord place himself in a false position. The noble Lord would meet with no gratitude in the course of a year or two from those who were now cheering him on his course to ruin. On the contrary, he would see beforehand that there were persons who would smile at his fate, and exult in the conviction that the Whig Minister had once more slain himself. Why should the noble Lord pursue the course he was now taking? Admitting that the noble Lord was most sincere, and was doing it from the best possible motive, let him appeal to Manchester. Did the people of Manchester desire the Bill? The noble Lord was the advocate of popular opinion, and wished that it should exercise its just influence in that House; but did the people of Manchester, for whose good it was declared that the bishop was created, desire that the thing should be done? Had there been a single expression from them of an opinion that either their temporal or spiritual condition would be benefited by the Act which the noble Lord contemplated? He (Mr. Wakley) saw one of the Members for Manchester in his place (Mr. Philips), but he did not see the other; and a reason could be easily conceived why that right hon. Gentleman had not thought proper to be present on this occasion. He was connected with the noble Lord and his Government; he knew the people of Manchester did not desire to have this arrangement carried into effect; but as it would be contrary to usage and etiquette for him to give a vote against the noble Lord, the hon. Member had not thought fit to be in his place. He appealed to the noble Lord to appreciate the position in which the minority were placed on the present occasion, and then to say whether it were just to brand them with conducting a factious opposition without reason and principle, if in 481 that position they took advantage of those forms which had been handed down, not merely for reference, but for actual use on great occasions. Could the noble Lord expect the minority to abandon the advantage which those forms conferred upon them, seeing that the people of Manchester were against the Bill, and seeing from statistics which he could produce, that there was no necessity for two bishops to the sees of St. Asaph and Bangor? Would it not be better for the noble Lord, for his Government, for the public at large, for the convenience of the House, and, above all, for the great cause of religion, of which the noble Lord was so sincere an advocate, that he should relinquish this Bill now, and bring it forward in another Session, when the whole subject would have been investigated and fully understood by the public. Then, if public opinion was decidedly pronounced in favour of the measure, no opposition of the kind now complained of would be offered to its progress.
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
The House had decided by a large majority to go into Committee, for the purpose of considering the details of this Bill; and the question now before the Committee was, that the Chairman report progress, and ask leave to sit again. He was surprised that the hon. Member for Finsbury should think that was a Motion which ought to be supported, and that it was his duty, in consequence of the sincerity of this opposition, to join it with a view of defeating the measure. With the astuteness of that hon. Member, it was wonderful he had not made the same reflections which had evidently occurred to the Members for Bath, Salford, and Manchester, and other opponents of the Bill, namely, that if the forms of the House were to be used for the purpose of defeating every Bill which a minority opposed, the consequence must obviously be that all measures to which there was any opposition must be stopped, and that the minority must in every case dictate the course to be taken, or else that these most valuable forms of the House must be altered. He called them most valuable forms, and they were so. If, for example, instead of proposing to proceed with this stage of the Bill now, at about nine o'clock in the evening, after some days of discussion, he had proposed, at one or two o'clock in the morning of yesterday, to go into Committee for the purpose of considering the details of the Bill, 482 the proposal would have been so unreasonable that the use of the forms of the House to defeat it would have been perfectly justifiable. Therefore these forms of the House were most valuable to prevent the power of the majority from being unduly used. But because this power existed, was it to be used by every man merely because he opposed a Bill? The Reform Bill had been mentioned. That Bill contained a vast many more clauses than this. It was a measure to which very many Members of the House were most sincerely opposed. Was it to be argued that in a measure of that kind the forms of the House would have been justifiably used in Motions of this kind to prevent it from becoming law? Or take the case of the Corn Laws. The Bill to repeal those laws was certainly most sincerely opposed by very many hon. Members. But if they in their sincerity of opposition had used the forms of the House against the progress of that measure, why, neither the Reform Act nor the Act for repealing the Corn Laws would have found their place among the statutes of this realm; or else the forms of the House must have been altered to enable Parliament to pass them. He thought the hon. Member for Finsbury had not given due consideration to this matter, or he would see this as the obvious consequence of the course he advocated. He, would not now say a word on the details of the Bill. None of them bad been considered. If to any of them there were valid objections, let them be fully considered, and let the House decide by a division upon them. He had yet made no charge of factious opposition against the opponents of this Bill; but if the Committee was to be called upon to divide immediately after it had constituted itself a Committee, for the purpose of refusing to consider the details of a measure, for which object they had resolved themselves into a Committee, why then he confessed he knew of no word more expressive of the nature of such an opposition.
§ MR. AGLIONBY
said, that the question appeared to him to be really this, whether the matter was of such importance, and so deeply affecting the people of England, that the people would go with those who were taking this course in opposition to the Bill? He confessed he did not think they would, and, therefore, he hoped his hon. Friend would withdraw his Motion. Let them fairly consider the details of the Bill in Committee; but he frankly avowed his 483 belief that the effect of this measure, if passed, would be, first, the ruin of the Government which had introduced it; and, next, the ruin of the Church itself.
§ MR. ROEBUCK
observed, that the object of these forms of the House was to ensure the fair discussion of a measure. When a fair discussion had been had, the minority ought to give way, and the forms of the House should not be used to prevent legislation.
§ VISCOUNT CLEMENTS
contended that the forms of the House were for a further object than merely to ensure a fair discussion of a measure; and he agreed with the hon. Member for Finsbury in the very able argument he had addressed to the Committee. The forms of the House were not merely to give the opportunity of fair discussion, but also to give the public beyond the walls of the House an opportunity of giving their opinion upon the discussions within them. He was surprised at the attempt to hurry a measure of such great importance through Parliament in the last week of the Session. As it had not been introduced earlier, it ought now to be postponed to the next meeting of Parliament. At the fag end of the Session there could be no fair discussion of a measure of this kind; and, therefore, in that view, the forms of the House might very properly be brought to bear against it. The allusion of the noble Lord to the Reform Bill and the repeal of the Corn Laws was unfair; for no comparison could be instituted between them and the present case. The course the noble Lord was pursuing with respect to this measure could neither tend to the advantage of his Government, nor to raise the dignity of discussion in that House. According to the noble Lord's own showing, the real spiritual want of the people was not bishops, but new churches and working clergy. He differed from every provision of the Bill, and would oppose the whole on every opportunity.
MR. VERNON SMITH
agreed with the hon. Member for Finsbury in his estimate of the value and importance of the forms of the House, and also agreed with the hon. Member for Bath in his definition of their object and use. The object of those forms was not to defeat Bills by such means as were now proposed. The hon. Member proposed that the Chairman should report progress, when no progress had been made to report. It was for the very purpose of maintaining the value and dignity of those forms, and because he would not 484 have them frittered away in defeating a Bill in an improper manner, that he should vote against the Motion of the hon. Member.
§ MR. HUME
was anxious that the Bill should be withdrawn; but as the House had agreed to go into Committee, he should like to see what could be done with the measure, especially as he understood that it was proposed by a right hon. Member to amend the preamble and to strike out some parts of the Bill. For himself, he should vote against it on every occasion, and he did not care upon what grounds; but, at the same time, he would not advise his hon. Friend to take a course from which no practical benefit could be expected.
§ SIR W. MOLESWORTH
wished to have the Bill postponed to see what were the feelings of the people of England on the subject. It was not supposed until Tuesday last that they would have been called upon at that period of the Session to assent to a measure for the erection of four new bishoprics. Some Members might know what were the feelings of their own constituents on the subject; but they did not know what were the feelings of the people of Scotland and Ireland, or of the distant parts of England—such as Cornwall. He, therefore, once more must recommend the withdrawal of this Bill.
§ MR. JOHN COLLETT
said, that he was generally willing to listen to the suggestions of those near him; but he could not do so on the present occasion; he, therefore, should divide on his Motion.
§ MR. WAKLEY
felt called upon once more to request his hon. Friend not to divide the Committee, but to wait, and let them see what alterations might be made in the Bill; for by doing so they might get rid of several of the most objectionable parts of it. If they should not be able to do so, then his hon. Friend might resort to steps to prevent its progress.
§ MR. J. COLLETT
said, that his hon. Friend the Member for Finsbury had at last convinced him. As for reporting progress, he candidly confessed he never wished to see the Chairman (Mr. Greene) in the Chair again.
§ Amendment withdrawn.
The Chairman read the preamble. On his coming to the words—
For establishing a bishopric of Manchester, and also, so soon as convenient might be, three other additional bishoprics, regard being had to the circumstance that Her Majesty did not contemplate the issue of Her writ to the new bishops to sit and vote as Peers of Parliament, except as
vacancies should from time to time occur among the bishops of England and Wales now so sitting and voting;"—
§ SIR J. GRAHAM
said, that they had now arrived at the words to which he intended to object. He must first advert to the observation of the noble Lord, that the preamble was a mere recital of facts. He was justified by the rules of the House in saying that the preamble was something-more than a mere recital of facts; for in it there were clauses, which were the inducements, as the lawyers termed it, of subsequent enactments. He had already stated, at very great length, last night his objections to this part of the Bill; and some severe comments had been made on what then had fallen from him. His hon. Friend the Member for Malton (Mr. E. Denison) observed with great truth on what he had said as to the evils which would arise from the continuance of the distinction between the Episcopal and Common funds, and that there should be only one fund both for episcopal and parochial purposes; and his hon. Friend noticed that he (Sir James Graham) had long been a member of the Ecclesiastical Commission which had sanctioned the distinction, and that this was the first time he had stated his objections in that House. This was perfectly true; but from the time he had discovered the separation of the two funds, he had strongly objected to the distinction, and there were persons serving with him on the Commission who were fully aware of his objections. He was asked also, entertaining such an opinion as a Minister of the Crown, why this distinction remained up to the present time? It had been continued up to the present time, because the statute under which the bishopric of Manchester was created rested on the contingency of the union of the sees of St. Asaph and Bangor. It was always presumed that the bishop of the see which was not vacant would concur in the wishes of Parliament, and take the two sees. It appeared, however, that the Bishop of Bangor had refused to do so when the bishopric of St. Asaph became vacant. The bishopric of Manchester was only to be created in case of the union of those two sees, and was to be endowed out of the Episcopal fund; and he believed that the surplus Episcopal fund was just sufficient to meet this appropriation already sanctioned by Parliament. He believed, also, there were funds not only sufficient for the endowment of the see, but also for the erec- 486 tion of a palace for the see of Manchester. He had always entertained the opinion that when the conditions connected with the see of Manchester were fulfilled, the necessity would arise of abolishing the distinction between the Episcopal and Common fund. The hon. Gentleman had asked him to watch and guard the Episcopal fund; he would do so most cheerfully and anxiously; and he would only ask the hon. Member to assist in protecting the Common fund against the assaults of the lessees. The hon. Member for Cockermouth had alluded to his separation from Earl Grey's Government, which he attributed to a difference with respect to the Church. He must beg to correct the hon. Member on this point. The question which occasioned his separation from that Government was not at all analogous to the point now under discussion. He did not believe the noble Lord or any of his Colleagues would say that he showed any disposition to differ from them as to the diminution of the number of bishops in Ireland. He was sure that his noble Friend, Lord Stanley, who proposed the measure for that purpose, would not say that he saw any disinclination on his part to diminish a superabundent episcopacy in Ireland. Lord Stanley was then a Minister of the Crown as well as himself, and they were responsible for the measure whereby two archbishoprics and eight bishoprics in Ireland were abolished in a single Act of Parliament; therefore, he could safely say, that it was not from any strong attachment to a great number of bishops that he separated from Earl Grey's Government. He, however, adhered to the opinion on which he separated from his then Colleagues on the subject of appropriating ecclesiastical funds. He was still opposed to the appropriation then suggested; and he would never accede to these funds being appropriated to other than ecclesiastical purposes. The hon. Member also supposed, in consequence of what fell from him, that he was desirous of paying his addresses to some Presbyterian constituency. It must be, then, to some Free Church on this side the border; for he could not believe, after what had passed, he could easily obtain plenary absolution on the northern side of the border; therefore, whatever might have been the inducements for him to have taken the course which he did, he was sure anything so unworthy as the motive suggested by the hon. Member could not justly be imputed. In the matter which they were 487 now about to take into consideration, two important changes were proposed. The first was the continuance of the two sees of St. Asaph and Bangor disunited; and then it was proposed that there should be four additional bishoprics, including Manchester. The noble Lord at the head of the Government had done him ample justice with respect to the views which he had expressed yesterday on this subject. The noble Lord had been pleased to say that he took a consistent and consequent view of the subject, although he differed from him; but the noble Lord did not find fault with his argument, or with the manner in which he had maintained his views. The noble Lord said that the population of the country had increased. He admitted this to be the case, and also that the spiritual wants of the country had increased. The question then was, which was the best mode of supplying the spiritual wants of the country. It was, whether an additional number of bishops or an increased number of parochial clergy, with more ample endowments, was most conducive to the interests of the Church. He meant by the interests of the Church not merely the clergy, but the large body of the people belonging to it. This was the single proposition to consider, and he should grapple with it according to the view which he took of the matter. He felt that there was no necessity for an increased number of bishops such as was proposed in this Bill; but he was of opinion, that there was a strong necessity for an increased number of the clergy. He might be charged with inconsistency in giving his assent to the creation of the bishopric of Manchester. If he were a responsible adviser of the Crown, he would not assent to the words introduced into the preamble with respect to the declaration of Her Majesty on this subject. He had said last night, that since he had left the service of Her Majesty, this had become a complicated subject. A large majority of the House of Lords had determined that the union of the two sees of St. Asaph and Bangor was inexpedient. But the case had become more complicated from what had since occurred, for they had not only the decision of the other House, but a declaration of Her Majesty that the union of the two sees should not be insisted on, and also that the creation of this diocese of Manchester, not waiting for the contingency he had before alluded to, should be carried into effect. He objected to parti- 488 cular words in the preamble, as involving something like an unconstitutional doctrine; and he doubted whether it was wise or prudent to make it appear that Her Majesty had declared her intention to adopt a course at variance with the stipulations of an Act of Parliament. In the 6th and 7th William IV., it was distinctly laid down. that the bishops and chapters of the two newly-created dioceses should be bodies corporate, and that the bishops should have all the same rights and privileges held and enjoyed by all the existing bishops of England and Wales. The question then arose—what were the rights and privileges of the bishops? He did not think that it was necessary to trouble the House with going at length into this part of the subject; but certainly one of them was the right of sitting in Parliament. By the Act which he had just referred to, this right was clearly contemplated as regarded the Bishop of Manchester; and it had been admitted in the case of the Bishop of Ripon, who had a seat in Parliament. In the same way as had been followed in the case of the Bishop of Ripon, it was provided, that when a Bishop of Manchester was created, he should not be deprived of any rights enjoyed by existing bishops. Therefore, with all deference to the noble Lord, and with unfeigned respect for his opinion, he should have doubted the soundness of the constitutional doctrine that the declaration of the intentions of Her Majesty, as stated in the preamble of this Bill, should be set forth in contravention of the stipulations of an Act of Parliament. He would now apply himself to the question of an additional number of bishops. He had said formerly that he could not recommend the creation of the diocese of Manchester without the union of the sees of St. Asaph and Bangor; but in the change of circumstances which had arisen, he was prepared to add one to the number of bishops, and one to the number of Spiritual Peers in the House of Peers. But there was a proposal to have an addition of three other bishops. The noble Lord had not stated whether any report of the Commissioners had been made to Her Majesty on this occasion; but the noble Lord candidly mentioned the three places in which it was intended to found chapters and create sees. [Lord J. RUSSELL observed, that he had merely stated this in answer to a question put to him.] He was aware of that; but he would ask, whether there was a public necessity for augmenting the 489 present number of bishops? He had been told that the bishops had too much to do; and he had asked what were their functions? If in doing so he had manifested in his manner the least want of respect for the bishops, he had failed to give expression to the unfeigned feelings he entertained towards them. Great learning, piety, and benevolence were the virtues which pre-eminently adorned them in every diocese in the country; and their efforts to promote the welfare of the Church were attended with the most satisfactory results. He was satisfied that it was by their exertions the proper discipline of the clergy was maintained, and general good conduct promoted. But while he admitted all this of the bishops, he could not admit that the clergy were less effective in their exertions, although in an humbler station. Many of them were in a state little above that of poverty; but their efforts were exerted in the most exemplary manner to train up their children to industrious and honest occupations, and this by the greatest sacrifices on their parts. If there was charity on the part of the bishops, there was also charity on the part of the working clergy. If the bishops out of their funds gave largely and extensively, he knew also that there were in his own neighbourhood clergymen with revenues of 80l. or 100l. a year, who contributed to the wants of their poorer neighbours. And be would ask them, would not some enlargement of the narrow means of the one class be more advantageous than an increase of the other, considered with regard to the interests of the Church itself? Even as a means of opposing dissent, would not such an increase be more effectual than any addition that might be made to the number of bishops? He might be wrong. He had the highest respect for the order of bishops; he knew that in their vocations they were useful and exemplary: but still he felt that in the circumstances of the country—with the population rapidly increasing—with dissent making rapid inroads on that population, on account of the want of means of providing parochial clergy, they ought to be most cautious in the application of the funds which existed for such purposes. But again, was it only for three bishops that provision was to be made? He heard—he would not say with surprise, because he foresaw from the first that if they once broke down the barriers that had existed, there would be no limit to the 490 change demanded—he heard his noble Friend the Member for Liverpool, even with all that discretion and sound judgment which ordinarily characterized him, and with that honest religious zeal which was so highly to be admired in him, go the length of contending for the establishment of a bishop in each of the fifty-two counties in England and Wales. Where was this to end? The hon. Member for Cockennouth did not argue the case merely as a hypothetical one; but he contemplated his creation of sixty suffragans, while the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford gravely sought to bring into operation the Statute of Henry VIII. for the creation of suffragan bishops—a statute that he believed had lain dormant since the reign of James I., though King Charles II., under the advice of Clarendon, thought proper at one time to promise its revival. Now he need not warn the House that these propositions, coming from quarters so respectable, showed the danger that was to be apprehended. He thought he heard some one near him whisper, "What is the danger?" The danger was this—that they were to maintain the distinction for an indefinite time between the Episcopal fund and the Capitular fund. The distinction between the two funds was to be kept up until his hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford had a suffragan bishop provided for each diocese. An hon. Member near him asked where was the harm in this? He alluded, on the preceding evening, to a part of the evil that such a separation would cause. The exemplary and most respected Prelate at the head of the Church (the Archbishop of Canterbury) brought in a most admirable measure—an enabling statute—whereby the bishops, out of the surplus revenues of their sees, were to be enabled to augment the smaller livings. But while a distinction was maintained between the Episcopal fund and the Common fund, the provisions of that statute would virtually, if not in terms, be suspended. There would he no longer any means for endowing small livings, and the result would be a virtual repeal of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Statute. The operation was this. The bishops were divided into two classes—those whose incomes were more than 4,500l. a year, and those whoso incomes were under that sum. They were to pay over out of the Episcopal fund to those prelates whose incomes were short of the given amount; while those whose incomes 491 exceeded it were compelled annually to contribute to the fund a fixed annuity; and it could not be expected that while the bishops' incomes were thus regulated, they would be able to augment the poorer livings out of the episcopal means. Having so fully stated his views to the House the night before, he was exceedingly unwilling to detain them by any lengthened observations at present. He felt that both the propositions involved in this measure were dangerous. He felt that comparisons between the bishops who had seats and who had not seats in the House of Lords, would be drawn to the disadvantage of the former. This might sound like an objection to the prelates sitting in the House of Lords at all; but for his part he entertained a strong opinion the opposite way. He thought it was highly desirable that the bishops should have seats in Parliament. Considering the great power possessed by the bishops over their clergy—a power which he would add he did not think excessive, for, on the contrary, he would support the Church Discipline Act to a somewhat more stringent extent than at present—considering the extent of this power, he would wish to have them responsible to the public in their places in Parliament. He had very lately seen bishops questioned in the House of Lords for the exercise of their power, and he had seen the salutary effect of that course. He believed the effect was the abandonment by a bishop of a rule respecting curates, which he had established in his diocese, and to which a strong objection had been expressed in Parliament. On these grounds it was his intention to move the omission of the words in the preamble from "A" in the second line of page 2, to the word "voting" in the tenth line. He need not add that it was his intention to vote for the omission of the second clause hereafter.
§ MR. J. COLLETT
said, he rose to a point of order. He had before objected to certain words in the preamble, and his objection was overruled on the ground that the preamble was a mere recital. If, however, it was competent for the right hon. Baronet to move the omission of a certain part of that recital, he should claim the right of moving the omission of the words he had before alluded to.
§ MR. ROEBUCK
said, he thought the right hon. Baronet laboured under some mistake with regard to his Motion. The words which he proposed to omit were a 492 mere recital of the Commission issued by Her Majesty; and he thought the object of the right hon. Baronet would be attained best by moving the omission of the bottom of the page at line 35.
§ SIR JAMES GRAHAM
said, he should certainly object to line 35, if the preceding part were retained; but he did not think the words which he proposed to omit, though part of the recital, were important.
§ MR. ROEBUCK
repeated that he thought the important part was the words, "and whereas it is expedient that the said recommendation he carried into effect."
wished to know from the hon. Member for Athlone what were the words which he proposed to omit.
MR. J. C OLLETT
said, he proposed omitting the words commencing "with special reference to the intention therein graciously declared by Her Majesty, that a measure should be submitted to Parliament," &c.
§ The question having been put, that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill,
§ MR. AGLIONBY
said, he hoped the Amendment would not be pressed. He regarded the words as a mere recital, and he did not see how hon. Members could be expected to deny by their votes that Her Majesty had been pleased to issue a certain Commission, when they knew that such a Commission had issued.
MR. VERNON SMITH
said, the proposition was not to ask Members to vote that the Commission did not issue, but that the recital of the fact should form no part of the preamble to the Bill.
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
said, his right hon. Friend was quite right in saying, that he spoke of the preamble as not at all binding that House or Parliament to adopt the measures mentioned; but, at the same time, he admitted they were words of importance, because they were introductory to the enactments which were intended to follow. The first clause alluded to one part of the preamble, and the second clause to another part of it; and the principle was, therefore, he thought, of considerable importance, as introductory to the enactments. If he understood the hon. Member for Athlone right, his first objection was, to the continuation of the bishoprics of St. Asaph and Bangor as separate bishoprics.
§ MR. DISRAELI
said, he did not think it was at all a decorous course to omit an 493 important part of the recital of Her Majesty's Commissioners, and retain other parts of the preamble.
The SOLICITOR GENERAL
said, it struck him that, even if all allusion to the Royal Commission were omitted in the preamble, the Commission would nevertheless be as much in force as it would be with the allusion to it retained. The preamble first of all recited four Acts of Parliament, every one of which was thought of importance to this measure; and it then recited the Royal Commission under which the Commissioners were to act. The whole of the Commission was not set forth, but only so much of it as was thought of importance to this Bill; and if the right hon. Baronet would take the trouble to look back to the Act of the 6th and 7th of William IV., chapter 77, he would there find that the preamble recited so much of two Royal Commissions as were thought necessary for the enactment following. The precedent of that Statute was, he believed, adopted in preparing the present Bill. What were they to legislate upon but the report of the Commission? They had not got the whole of that report, and therefore the proposers of this Bill adopted the ingenuous and honest course of openly referring to the part of Her Majesty's Commission which they believed to concern the measure which they introduced. He asked hon. Gentlemen what they would have said if the noble Lord, or if the person who prepared this Bill, had introduced into it only so much of the recommendation of the Commissioners as related to the bishopric of Manchester, not allowing them to know that by the Commission there were other views entertained; or that there might hereafter be another report of the Royal Commissioners with respect to those other views? It might be the first charge against the person who introduced the Bill (if it were not stated on the face of the preamble, that there were those other views to be entertained from time to time) that the Commissioners were only sent to inquire into and report upon the single question with respect to the bishopric of Machester.
§ SIR JAMES GRAHAM
was delighted to have heard the hon. and learned Gentle- 494 man the Solicitor General, for whom he had a sincere respect. The hon. and learned Gentleman had displayed that ability which they all knew he possessed, and he rejoiced that he had given them an opportunity of admiring it. He had said that this recital was honest and ingenuous, and he (Sir James Graham) deemed it to be so in the highest sense. It was honest and ingenuous; it was an avowal of a contemplation on the part of the Crown which appeared to him to be somewhat extraordinary on the face of it. By an Act of Parliament in force, it was directed that the Bishops of Ripon and Manchester, whenever they were appointed should enjoy all the rights of the episcopacy, and amongst them was, ex debito justiciœ, the summons to the House of Lords; but from this recital it appeared that it was contemplated on the part of Her Majesty to do that which Parliament had said should not be done. He thought it was bettor to exclude the words than they should be included.
§ MR. LAW
was really surprised that the right hon. Baronet, with his extreme sagacity, should have been caught by the loose arguments of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose, on the subject of the illegality and want of constitutional proceeding on the part of Her Majesty in taking the advice of Her constitutional advisers, to consider whether an existing Act of Parliament could be improved or repealed. What was it but what was done every day, and upon whose advice could it be more properly done than on the advice of the Ministers of the Crown and the Crown itself? It was absurd to insist that this was either illegal or unconstitutional; on the contrary, it was the act of every man who introduced an Act of Parliament to improve or repeal an existing law.
§ MR. ROEBUCK
might perhaps be able to relieve the mind of the right hon. Baronet by quoting a principle of law. It was, he found, laid down in the reign of Henry VIII. that the King might hold a Parliament without any spiritual Lords; and this principle was verified in the two first Parliaments of Charles II. So, in fact, it was the prerogative of the Crown to summon the bishops if the Crown pleased.
§ SIR F. THESIGER
thought they were in a difficulty from not having adopted the usual course, namely, to postpone the consideration of the preamble. The question was, whether his right hon. Friend was right in taking the mode he had adopted, 495 to remove from the preamble a certain part of it. The Solicitor General told them that those who had framed the Bill thought proper to introduce now into the preamble certain parts of the report of the Commissioners, and of the intention of Her Majesty; therefore, it was quite clear they had not the whole of the intention expressed, or the whole of the recommendations of the Commissioners.
The SOLICITOR GENERAL
explained, that he meant to say that there was introduced into the preamble so much of the recital of the Commission and the views of the Royal Commissioners as was necessary. That report was set out, but there was some more to come—another report.
§ SIR F. THESIGER
observed, it was, at all events clear, that in framing this Bill there had been a certain selection made from the report of the Commission; but the question was not as to what the framers of the Bill thought proper to take, but what they should think proper to introduce. They were not compelled to introduce the whole of the intentions of Her Majesty, or the whole of the recommendations of the Commissioners; the question was whether it was expedient, in framing this Bill, that they should adopt the whole of the recital that was here inserted.
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
What I think is very extraordinary in the right hon. Gentleman's statement, and which was supported by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose, was this—he said that there was something either illegal or unconstitutional in Her Majesty appointing a Commission with the view of submitting measures to Parliament. I certainly never heard before that an Act of Parliament was to be considered as something of so very sacred a kind, that Her Majesty was not to direct her confidential Ministers to repeal or alter it, if necessary. Why, it is a thing that is done at the commencement of every Session.
§ MR. SIDNEY HERBERT
observed, that the usual practice was to postpone the preamble of the Bill; and why depart from that practice in the present instance? The only way of getting out of their difficulty was to postpone the preamble, and discuss the clauses in the first instances.
§ MR. T. S. DUNCOMBE
remarked, that the objection made by some hon. Gentlemen was, that they had not got the whole of the report; but that was not his objection. His objection was, that the 496 House wanted another report, and that was the report of the Committee appointed to inquire into this Ecclesiastical Commission.
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
said, the proposition of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Dorchester was, that as a great part of the substance of the Bill was confined to the preamble, the preamble should be taken before the clauses; and he considered that course, though unusual, was reasonable. He had, therefore, moved that the preamble should be considered in the first instance, and he still thought that was a reasonable proceeding. He was determined, in spite of what the hon. Member for Finsbury had said, to carry the Bill as it stood. Believing that it would be a measure useful to the country, Her Majesty's Government had brought it forward; and until the House decided by a division that they would not entertain the Bill, he should think it his duty to persevere with it.
§ The Committee divided on the question, that the words proposed by Mr. J. Collett to be left out, stand part of the Bill:—Ayes 132; Noes 33: Majority 99.
|List of the AYES.|
|Acland, Sir T. D.||Duckworth, Sir J. T. B.|
|Antrobus, E.||Duncombe, hon. O.|
|Archdall, Capt. M.||Dundas, Adm.|
|Baring, H. B.||Dundas, Sir D.|
|Baring, T.||East, Sir J. B.|
|Barrington, Visct.||Easthope, Sir J.|
|Beckett, W.||Ebrington, Visct.|
|Bennet, P.||Egerton, W. T.|
|Bentinck, Lord G.||Egerton, Sir P.|
|Blackburne, J. I.||Entwisle, W.|
|Bodkin, W. H.||Ferguson, Sir R. A.|
|Boldero, H. G.||Forester, hon. G. C. W.|
|Borthwick, P.||Frewen, C. H.|
|Bowles, Adm.||Fuller, A. E.|
|Broadley, H.||Gardner, J. D.|
|Buller, C.||Gaskell, J. M.|
|Buller, E.||Gore, M.|
|Buller, Sir J. Y.||Gore, hon. R.|
|Byng, rt. hon. G. S.||Goring, C.|
|Carew, W. H. P.||Goulburn, rt. hon. H.|
|Cavendish, hon. C. C||Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.|
|Cholmondeley, hon. H.||Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.|
|Christopher, R. A.||Grosvenor, Lord R.|
|Clayton, R. R.||Hallyburton, Ld. J.F.G.|
|Clive, Visct.||Halsey, T. B.|
|Collett, W. R.||Hamilton, G. A.|
|Corry, rt. hon. H.||Hatton, Capt. V.|
|Courtenay, Lord||Hawes, B.|
|Cowper, hon. W. F.||Henley, J. W.|
|Craig, W. G.||Herbert, rt. hon. S.|
|Denison, W. J.||Hildyard, T. B. T.|
|Denison, J. E.||Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J.|
|Dickinson, F, H.||Hope, A.|
|Disraeli, B.||Hornby, J.|
|Dodd, G.||Hotham, Lord|
|Douglas, J. D. S.||Ingestre, Visct.|
|Inglis, Sir R. H.||Pennant, hon. Col.|
|Jervis, Sir J.||Philipps, Sir R. B. P.|
|Jocelyn, Visct.||Plumridge, Capt.|
|Jones, Capt.||Price, Sir R.|
|Kirk, P.||Reid, Col.|
|Labouchere, rt. hon. H.||Repton, G. W. J.|
|Langston, J. H.||Rich, H.|
|Lascelles, hon. W. S.||Richards, R.|
|Law, hon. C. E.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Lefroy, A.||Russell, J. D. W.|
|Legh, G. C.||Rutherfurd, A.|
|Lemon, Sir C.||Seymer, H. K.|
|Lindsay, Col.||Seymour, Sir H. B.|
|Lowther, hon. Col.||Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.|
|Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B.||Somerville, Sir W. M.|
|Manners, Lord C. S.||Stuart, J.|
|Maule, rt. hon. F.||Thesiger, Sir F.|
|Meynell, Capt.||Tollemache, J.|
|Miles, P. W. S.||Turner, E.|
|Morpeth, Visct.||Vesey, hon. T.|
|Morris, D.||Vivian, J. E.|
|Mundy, E. M.||Vyse, H|
|Neville, R.||Ward, H. G.|
|Newdegate, C. N.||Wellesley, Lord C.|
|Nicholl, rt. hon. J.||Williams', W.|
|Norreys, Lord||Wilshere, W.|
|Norreys, Sir D. J.||Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.|
|O'Brien, A. S.||Wortley, hon. J. S.|
|Packe, C. W.|
|Parker, J.||Tufnell, H.|
|Patten, J. W.||Hill, Lord M.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Aglionby, H. A.||Hall, Sir B.|
|Aldam, W.||Hindley, C.|
|Berkeley, hon. C.||Horsman, E.|
|Bouverie, H. E. P.||M'Taggart, Sir J.|
|Brotherton, J.||Molesworth, Sir W.|
|Brown, W.||Osborne, R.|
|Clay, Sir W.||Philips, M.|
|Clements, Visct.||Pinney, W.|
|Colebrooke, Sir T. E.||Roebuck, J. A.|
|Currie, R.||Seymour, Lord|
|D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C. T.||Smith, rt. hon. R. V.|
|Duke, Sir J.||Thornely, T.|
|Duncan, G.||Wakley, T.|
|Duncombe, T.||Walker, R.|
|Ellis, W.||Wall, C. B.|
|Evans, Sir De L.||Hume, J.|
|Forster, M.||Collett, J.|
§ MR. M. PHILIPS
observed, that already a machinery existed for religious purposes in Manchester, which if properly worked out would entirely supersede the necessity for the establishment of a bishopric in that town. He was decidedly of opinion that any such proceeding would be repugnant to the feelings of the electors of Manchester; and under this conviction he begged leave to move that the words "and for establishing forthwith a bishopric in Manchester" be omitted.
§ MR. T. S. DUNCOMBE
should certainly move that Mr. Greene do leave the chair, unless some of the Ministers would condescend to answer the declaration made 498 by the hon. Member for Manchester with respect to the feelings of the Manchester people in reference to this Bill. Why enfranchise the town of Manchester unless they meant to listen to what its representative stated when he professed to give expression to the opinions of the people of that place? He was at a loss to understand what could be the object of the Ministers in persevering in this most obnoxious measure, unless, indeed, it was that they had been commanded to go on with it, and that they thought it necessary to carry out the order. Why should the Ministers insist on cramming the Bill in a most offensive and unconstitutional manner down the throat of the House? If it was true that there was a feeling in its favour out of doors, and that there were indeed persons who were roaring and dying for more bishops, why were not the names of those parties given? If the promoters of the Bill were certain that the country was with them, what evil result could follow from postponing the measure until next Session, and thus affording the country an opportunity for pronouncing? The conduct of the Government was most disgraceful in advocating such a measure; and they had acted most unconstitutionally in their mode of introducing it. Again he asked why should this hateful measure be crammed down the throat of the House? The country was against it, and the complaints out of doors that it was dreadful to be obliged to swallow all this episcopal mud were numerous and indignant.
§ LORD J. RUSSELL
had not thought it necessary again to raise the question of the distinct creation of the bishopric of Manchester, having on previous occasions repeatedly explained the grounds on which the proposition rested. It rested on an Act of Parliament now in force. [Mr. PHILIPS: No, an Act to come forthwith into operation.] The Act of Parliament was actually in force, and the difference between the present Bill and the Act now in force was simply this: that whereas, as the law now stood, the bishopric of Manchester was not to be created until after the death of the Bishop of Bangor, the Bill under consideration contemplated its creation forthwith. If the House determined to create a new bishopric, it ought not to depend upon the death of the Bishop of Bangor. He did not profess to know what the feelings of the people of Manchester on the question might be just now; but he was sure, that when the bishop was created, 499 they would soon arrive at the conclusion that the Bill now under consideration was one which, so far from injuring them, would affect their town beneficially. The hon. Member for Finsbury might think it very amusing to attack him (Lord J. Russell) and other Members of the Government; but he was convinced that he was doing his duty, and he should not be deterred by the taunts of the hon. Member.
§ MR. ROEBUCK
said, that Manchester was in a district which was under the supervision of a bishop. Manchester was composed of a great variety of sects and opinions; and he thought that the appointment of a bishop in Manchester would not tend to decrease any sectarian jealousy which now existed in Manchester. He would, therefore, move that the chairman report progress.
§ LORD J. RUSSELL
said, that the subject had been discussed very fully, and he did not see any reason for agreeing to the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Bath. He should feel it necessary, under those circumstances, to divide against the Motion if the hon. and learned Member pressed it.
§ The Committee divided on the question that the Chairman do now report progress:—Ayes 18; Noes 129: Majority 111.
|List of the AYES.|
|Aglionby, H. A.||Hume, J.|
|Brotherton, J.||Molesworth, Sir W.|
|Currie, R.||Osborne, R.|
|D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C. T.||Philips, M.|
|Duke, Sir J.||Thornely, T.|
|Duncan, G.||Wakley, T.|
|Duncombe, T.||Williams, W.|
|Hall, Sir B.||TELLERS.|
|Hindley, C.||Collett, J.|
|Horsman, E.||Roebuck, J. A.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Acland, Sir T. D.||Bentinck, Lord G.|
|Acland, T. D.||Berkeley, hon. C.|
|Antrobus, E.||Blackburne, J. I.|
|Archdall, Capt.||Bodkin, W. H.|
|Austen, Col.||Boldero, H. G.|
|Bannerman, A.||Borthwick, P.|
|Baring, H. B.||Bowles, Adm.|
|Baring, T.||Broadley, H.|
|Baring, rt. hon. W. B.||Brown, W.|
|Beckett, W.||Buller, C.|
|Bennet, P.||Buller, E.|
|Buller, Sir J. Y.||Labouchere, rt. hon. H.|
|Byng, rt. hon. G. S.||Langston, J. H.|
|Carew, W. H. P.||Lascelles, hon. W. S.|
|Cavendish, hon. C. C.||Law, hon. C. E.|
|Cholmondeley, hon. H.||Lefroy, A.|
|Christopher, R. A.||Legh, G. C.|
|Clayton, R. R.||Lemon, Sir C.|
|Clive, Visct.||Lindsay, Col.|
|Collett, W. R.||Lowther, hon. Col.|
|Cony, rt. hon. H.||Macaulay, rt. hon. T. B.|
|Courtenay, Lord||Manners, Lord C. S.|
|Cowper, hon. W. F.||Masterman, J.|
|Craig, W. G.||Maule, rt. hon. F.|
|Dickinson, F. H.||Meynell, Capt.|
|Dodd, G.||Miles, P. W. S.|
|Douglas, J. D. S.||Milnes, R. M.|
|Duckworth, Sir J. T. B.||Morpeth, Visct.|
|Duncombe, hon. O.||Morris, D.|
|Dundas, Adm.||Mundy, E. M.|
|Dundas, Sir D.||Neville, R.|
|East, Sir J. B.||Newdegate, C. N.|
|Easthope, Sir J.||Nicholl, rt. hon. J.|
|Ebrington, Visct.||Norreys, Sir D. J.|
|Egerton, W. T.||O'Brien, A. S.|
|Egerton, Sir P.||Packe, C. W.|
|Entwisle, W.||Palmerston, Visct.|
|Ferguson, Sir R. A.||Parker, J.|
|Forester, hn. G. C. W.||Patten, J. W.|
|Frewen, C. H.||Pennant, hon. Col.|
|Fuller, A. E.||Philipps, Sir R. B. P.|
|Gardner, J. D.||Pinney, W.|
|Gaskell, J. M.||Price, Sir R.|
|Gore, M.||Reid, Col.|
|Gore, hon. R.||Repton, G. W. J.|
|Goring, C.||Rich, H.|
|Goulburn, rt. hon. H.||Richards, R.|
|Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Grosvenor, Lord R.||Russell, J. D. W.|
|Hallyburton, Lord J. F.||Rutherfurd, A.|
|Halsey, T. P.||Seymer, H. K.|
|Hamilton, G. A.||Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.|
|Hatton, Capt. V.||Somerville, Sir W. M.|
|Hawes, B.||Stuart, J.|
|Henley, J. W.||Thesiger, Sir F.|
|Herbert, rt. hon. S.||Tollemache, J.|
|Hildyard, T. B. T.||Vesey, hon. T.|
|Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J.||Vyse, H.|
|Hodgson, F.||Walker, R.|
|Hope, A.||Ward, H. G.|
|Hornby, J.||Wilshere, W.|
|Hotham, Lord||Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.|
|Ingestre, Visct.||Wortley, hon. J. S.|
|Inglis, Sir R. H.||TELLERS.|
|Jervis, Sir J.||Hill, Lord M.|
|Jones, Capt.||Tufnell, H.|
§ House resumed. The Chairman reported progress.
§ On the question that the Committee sit again at Twelve o'clock on the following day,
§ MR. DUNCOMBE
said, if public opinion was to be set at nought, he should move at a future day for a Motion to test the principles on which a quasi Liberal Government was conducted. He was not angry, and to prove what he said, he 501 should move the adjournment of the House.
SIR R. PRICE
said, he hoped the noble Lord would persevere, and would disregard the attacks of the hon. Member for Fins-bury, and those who acted with him.
§ MR. AGLIONBY
thought the noble Lord had no reason to be glad of the aid of the hon. Member who spoke last, and had indulged in recrimination against hon. Members of the House.
§ LORD J. RUSSELL
expressed himself perfectly ready to go on with the Bill, though quite weary of the discussion, as he thought it his duty to do; and all he asked the House was to consider the Bill fairly in all its details. If he could believe that the opposition to this Bill would be carried on in the ordinary way, he would not insist on the House meeting on Saturday, but hoped they would meet to consider the Bill on Monday.
§ After some discussion, the Motion and Amendment were withdrawn. Committee to sit on Monday.
§ House adjourned at a quarter before Two o'clock.