§ Debate resumed.
§ MR. MOORE
denied that the Irish priesthood had ever been aught else than the friends of loyalty and order, or that the illustrious Pontiff would ever exert his influence for any purpose which would not tend to the honour and credit of religion. The hon. Member for North Essex had been guilty of a gross libel on the Irish priesthood.
§ MR. URQUHART
complained that many Members had been obliged to return from the north at great personal inconvenience, in consequence of this Bill, con- 499 trary to all expectation, having been again brought forward. The Government had not acceded to the proposition either to make a call of the House, or to postpone the Bill till next Session; and he should therefore oppose it by every means in his power. One ground of his opposition to this Bill was, that it would bring another country within the range of our diplomatic influence, and thus augment the irresponsible authority of the Foreign Office. The Bill had not been pushed so long as the Pope was in a condition not to accept it; but now that he was humbled, broken, ruined, it was pressed forward in the hope that he would be unable to resist the influences brought to bear upon him. The object of the Bill, indeed, was to obtain what Austria had so long held—influence over the councils of the Pope.
§ MR. PHILIP HOWARD
believed that the Bill was brought forward, not to obtain any undue influence over the Pope, but on general principles. As a proof of the feelings entertained by the Pope towards this measure previous to the events to which the hon. Gentleman had just referred, he would read part of a letter from a small publication written by Bishop Wiseman, entitled, Words of Peace and Justice. Bishop Wiseman said—As soon as the Diplomatic Bill was proposed, I not only diligently studied its bearings, but forwarded a copy of it to the Cardinal Secretary of State, from whom I received an answer, dated Rome, February 22, 1848.That answer was as follows:—In accordance with the desire expressed by your Lordship to the Under Secretary of this department, I immediately placed before Ms Holiness the Bill enclosed in the letter, and how agreeable an impression it has produced on the mind of his Holiness you may easily imagine.This was written before the French revolution, and before the occurrence of other important events on the Continent; and it showed with what feelings the Pope then regarded this measure. He would give the Bill his cordial support, though he regretted the introduction of the second clause, and would vote against it when the proper time came.
§ MR. M. POWER
would, in Committee, vote with the noble Lord (the Earl of Arundel and Surrey) against the second clause; but, as a whole, he gave the Bill his cordial support. He supported it on the ground that it was better to have open and undisguised rather than indirect and clandestine intercourse with the See of Rome. 500 He represented a population of 800,000, of whom 700,000 were Roman Catholics; and he had not received a single communication adverse to the Bill; so that he came to the conclusion that it was approved of by the Roman Catholic people of this country. He deprecated the notion that the influence of the Pope could be used politically in Ireland. From what he knew of the people of Ireland, he was sure that if the Pope were to attempt to interfere so as to make them subservient to any Government, his interference would be rejected. He was himself a Roman Catholic; and he would not hesitate to tell the Pope, that though he owed him obedience in spiritual matters, he would exercise independently the rights of conscience on all civil questions.
complained that the House was now compelled to re-enact what it had already finished, to re-discuss on going into Committee a question which they had reason to think had been settled long ago. The hon. Member for Limerick had told them, that they were indebted solely to the priesthood for the tranquillity of Ireland; and so raised a question as to what were the real causes of disturbance there, and what effect this Bill was likely to have upon it. He (Mr. Drummond) did not believe that this Bill would enable Her Majesty's Government to do more than they could without the Bill. He had already stated that it would be most mischievous in its operation, and most insulting both to the Crown and to the Roman Catholics in Ireland, if it were to be used for the purpose of bringing any influence to bear on the Government of that country; nor would he believe that Her Majesty's Government had any such intention. But there might be some fancy that it was possible, directly or indirectly, to rule the Pope, and chain the spirit of the priesthood. Those who thought so could not have read history aright if they did not know that from the days of Constantine to this hour there had been one uniform constant endeavour on the part of the priests, in every country in Europe, to cajole the laity, and take all temporal power into their hands. He spoke not of one bishop or another, but of a class; and, lest it should be said he was calumniating persons behind their backs, he should take the liberty of showing how it was that the poor people in Ireland were shamefully treated. A Roman Catholic bishop wrote a letter to an hon. Gentleman, which letter that hon. 501 Gentleman read at that place which he called, it must be supposed in mockery, Conciliation Hall, putting it to those who were described as having to encounter famine, pestilence, and division in Ireland, whether there was not evidence of a deep-laid and widespread conspiracy in England, and of efforts being made to exterminate the priests and annihilate the people. The hon. Membur for Cork might say that was all Tallagh-hill. But this was the letter of a Roman Catholic bishop, who taught his people that his voice was to them the voice of God. The was the language of a man to a people who, he knew, believed they were to have no private judgment in the matter. Rightly instructed Roman Catholics might tell the priests they exercised a judgment in politics; but the great majority of Roman Catholics neither did, nor dared to do, any such thing. The Young Irelandors, who were accused by those bishops of being infidels, vindicated themselves in a protest, declaring that they did not deny the ecclesiastical authority of the priesthood, but only their political authority. On that ground alone was the Young Ireland party excommunicated. In a letter to Lord Shrewsbury from Dr. M'Hale, on a subject entirely political, the Roman Catholic peers of England were accused of lending themselves to a foul conspiracy against the Catholic people and priesthood. It was to a population steeped in poverty that such language was addressed. A gentleman, who was under a cloud, and whose name, therefore, he would not mention, asked the men of Tipperary whether they would he content to lie down another year and see the produce of their fields transported to other lands; adding, that if they allowed it to leave their shores without a struggle they deserved to continue slaves for ever. But in that House an hon. Gentleman said to them tauntingly, "Yes, you are going to bring to this country the crops we have raised to feed yourselves, and then bring from America damaged meal for Ireland." Could a country where such language was used be content? The priests would say, "Monster meetings if you like, but no pikes." What was the meaning of a monster meeting but to intimidate the Government? It was the duty of Parliament to act as fairly towards the Roman Catholics of Ireland as towards the priesthood of Canada or Scotland; before Ireland could be tranquillised justice must be dealt out, and the Roman Catholic 502 priests receive their due. If they were bad in one respect, that was no reason for punishing them in another; but while they were to be punished as instigators of rebellion, they ought also to receive the assurance that the same paternal protection and the same liberality would be extended to them as towards others of Her Majesty's subjects.
§ SIR R. H. INGLIS
could not accept the compliment which had been offered to him in the course of the discussion, at the expense of those who concurred with him in opinion; for he had no right to suppose that his vote was influenced by purer or higher motives than theirs. There might be incidental questions with respect to railways and commerce, on which negotiation might be requisite; but what he objected to was, the formal recognition and practical reconciliation which this measure involved with the See of Rome. Even in Roman Catholic times, an ambassador from the Pope was required to take an oath that he meditated nothing against the interests of the Crown of England. Then, who was at this moment the real practical Sovereign of the Roman States? Considering the opposition of Protestants and Roman Catholics alike to the measure, and the probability that it would produce neither permanent nor temporary good, he could not think the hon. Member for Warwickshire had pursued an unwarrantable course in opposing the Bill in all its stages.
§ LORD H. VANE
cordially supported the Bill; it was for the public convenience that diplomatic relations should be established with the See of Rome.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
said, that throughout the discussion on this Bill, there had been frequent allusion to "the higher purposes" it was calculated to serve. Now, he thought that the Church of England and the Protestants of this country had a right to be told what those "higher purposes" were. No explanation, however, had yet been given on that point by any Member of the Government; and he was inclined to conclude that the reason of that was, that the Members of the Government were at cross purposes on their own Bill. In his opinion, the immediate though un-avowed purpose of the Bill was to seek to gain, through the Pope's authority, power over Her Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects in Ireland. He believed, however, that in this the Government would prove unsuccessful, and that both the Papal 503 authorities and the Roman Catholics would, as in previous instances, have recourse to the plea that the Pope was acting under restraint, if anything inconsistent with the ulterior purposes of the Roman Church with respect to this country resulted from the contemplated negotiations. The hon. Member then referred to the universal supremacy, temporal as well as spiritual, claimed by the Pope, and warned the House of the danger of recognising that claim by the adoption of the present Bill. The plea upon which this Bill had been introduced was too futile to blind any one to its real purpose; the flimsy pretext of commercial purposes had been dissipated by the right hon. Member for the University of Oxford. The intention of its framers, the Government, was the same as before the Bill was altered by the House of Lords; and as they were to have the administration of the powers it conferred, its operation would he perverted to the objects against which the Lords' Amendments were intended to guard, namely, the introduction of the spiritual authority of the Pope, and its legalisation in the united kingdom; and under the wide interpretation of the term "spiritual power," which Rome enforced, would the Pope's temporal authority likewise be active, in contravention of that supremacy, both spiritual and temporal, which the constitution vested in Her Majesty. In deference to the opinions of those who had framed the Lords' Amendments, he had doubted whether he should not abstain from voting against this stage of the Bill; but the discussion had removed his doubts, and he should most cordially vote against it.
§ SIR H. W. BARRON
denied that the Pope either claimed or exercised any temporal authority in this country. At the present time the temporal power of the Pope was a mere nullity; and, although a Roman Catholic, he rejoiced that it was so, because he held that the mixing up of religion with politics always injured religion. He admitted the Pope's authority over him in religious matters, but he abjured as strongly as words would allow him any right on the part of the Pope to sway his political feelings, or to interfere with his allegiance to his Sovereign; and such was the opinion of all enlightened Catholics. The question before the House was not a question of religion at all, but of pure politics. Because the Pope differed from them in religion, would they hold no diplo- 504 matic relations with him as a temporal prince? If that was sufficient to justify them in declining to enter into diplomatic relations with the Pope, it would equally justify them in sending back the Minister of the Sultan, and almost every other ambassador at present in England. Some Irish Members who set themselves up as the representatives of the Roman Catholics of Ireland, had opposed this Bill. He was as intimately acquainted with the feelings of the Roman Catholics of Ireland as those hon. Members could be, and he declared that they were not unfavourable to the Bill; that on the contrary they hoped it would pass; not because they expected much benefit from it to themselves, but because they thought it was a disgrace to the British empire that diplomatic relations with Rome should have been so long suspended, and because they looked upon this Bill as the removal of a slur upon them and their religion.
§ MR. ROBINSON
had not heard throughout the whole of this discussion a single argument brought forward to show the pressing necessity for a measure of this description. The hon. Baronet who had just spoken had referred to the case of the Sultan; but there was no analogy between the cases of the Sultan and the Pope, because the former did not, like the latter, seek to exercise any spiritual authority. He admitted that it was an unusual course, after the second reading of a Bill had been carried by a majority, to interpose obstacles to it at this stage; but considering the character of this measure, he agreed with the hon. Member for Warwick and others in the propriety of offering every opposition to it in his power.
§ MR. NAPIER
supported the Amendment, and begged to submit whether it were fair, after so many useful Bills had been already postponed on the ground that it was too late to discuss them, that the House should be called upon to give a preference to a Bill relating to railroads in Italy? and whether the hands of Parliament were not full enough with regard to the affairs of this country to justify them at this moment avoiding idle discussions on controversial topics? Many very useful and important Bills in reference to Ireland had been postponed until next year in consequence of the lateness of the Session; but how could he excuse himself to his constituents, if they should be able to say, that while those Bills were postponed, the 505 House nevertheless found abundance of time to discuss a Bill for establishing diplomatic relations with Rome, and for promoting railways in Italy, which many persons, too, thought affected the Act of Settlement and the foundation of the monarchy? He preferred the interests of Ireland to the interests of Italy. Whatever might be the merits or demerits of the present measure, a large proportion of the Protestants of this country did feel that it was of most vital importance, and required full and fair consideration; and a large proportion of the Roman Catholics also felt that it was insulting to their religion. This was always the effect of half-and-half measures; and he should be failing in his duty if he did not protest against the measure being hurried forward at the present time. He should therefore, to the utmost of his power, resist it at each stage, and on every legitimate occasion. In consequence of this Bill being allowed to lie dormant for so long a time, many hon. Members had left London, supposing that it would he dropped; and he complained of the stealthy way in which it was now proposed to carry it through the House.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
claimed the vote of the hon. and learned Member (Mr. Napier) in favour of the Bill, for the very reasons which he had given for opposing it. The hon. and learned Member had referred to a number of Bills connected with Ireland, intimating that they ought to be passed, if not in the present, at least in the next Session; and yet in the same breath, with respect to the present Bill, which the hon. Member contended was one of great importance, and required full discussion, the hon. and learned Member, instead of allowing the House to enter into the discussion of it during the existing Session, proposed that its discussion should be put off until next Session, in order that it might then stand in the way of the consideration of those other measures which he had intimated he would support. The hon. and learned Member said that the Bill was being stealthily proceeded with at the end of the Session; but his noble Friend (Lord J. Russell) had already explained that no deception had been practised on the House with respect to the intention of the Government to go on with the Bill. The present debate appeared to him to he the most singular in character that he had ever heard in that House; he-cause almost every Member who had opposed the Bill had done so not only on dif- 506 ferent but on perfectly conflicting grounds; and the arguments of the opponents of the measure, if let alone, would be found to destroy one another, and leave a perfect blank; and he also thought that a greater proof that nothing could be said against the Bill, could not be afforded than the fact that everything but the Bill had been discussed. They had had musty theology, feudal history, Irish distress, and the relations between landlord and tenant—in fact, everything but the Bill itself. One hon. Member (the hon. Member for Youghal) said that this was a most outrageous Bill, because it tended to destroy the independence of the Pope; and another hon. Member argued that it was a most dangerous measure, because its effect was to destroy the independence of the Crown. How it could have both of these effects was not explained. He should, therefore, leave these parties to fight the matter out among themselves; but it gave him great and sincere pleasure to see so many hon. Gentlemen who had outlived the fatigues of this laborious Session in the enjoyment of such animal spirits and health, that they were determined to show that, whatever time they had spent in that House, they were still vigorous, active, and alive; and he only hoped that during the recess and the ensuing Session they would continue to possess the same faculty to devote their energies to the public service. He had been told that he had made a speech of great brevity; and this reproach was cast on him by the hon. Members for Youghal and Stafford. All he could say was, that short as his speeches might be in general, yet, adding them to the speeches made in the course of the Session by those two hon. Members, they would be found—if the average were taken, and of course he only meant the average—to have occupied more time than those of any other hon. Member. The Bill before the House was a plain measure for remedying what he considered to be a gross absurdity—for removing a practical, political, and commercial inconvenience; and as to those deep schemes and that mysterious mischief which the Government were supposed to contemplate, they had existence only in the imagination of those who accused the Government, but not in the intentions of the promoters of the Bill. Some merriment had been occasioned by the mention of railways in Italy; but all he had said on that subject, by way of illustration, was, not that the British Government 507 wanted to make railways in that country, but that if railway communications were created there, the arrangements connected with which might be of importance to the intercourse of England with her possessions in other portions of the globe, and to her commercial interests in other respects, England required the authority of an Act of Parliament, in order to enter into those diplomatic relations with Rome which she maintained with every other State in the world. Some hon. Gentlemen, who had a horror of any connexion with the head of the Catholic Church, had asked whom the British Government proposed to treat with; and they urged it as a reason for postponing the Bill that, perhaps, the Pope was no longer the sovereign of Rome. Thus they took both sides of the question, just as it suited them. At one time they objected to entering into diplomatic relations with Rome because the Pope was the Sovereign Pontiff, and at another because somebody else might be the sovereign. The hon. Member for Youghal (Mr. Anstey) represented that this measure was not necessary, and that diplomatic communications were lawful already; then surely he need not object to the Bill, if others thought it necessary, and considered the law doubtful. The Bill, in his view, would be but surplusage. Either he or the hon. Member for Stafford (Mr. Anstey or Mr. Urquhart) had quoted cases in which there had been, as he said, diplomatic intercourse. Why, that was the case for this Bill—that from the very necessity of things it was totally impossible that a State like England could separate itself fully, and disconnect itself entirely, from any other State in Europe; that if the law prevented formal intercourse, communication must take place through unacknowledged channels; and that a great country should do openly what it did at ally Then it was urged that the measure would be degrading to the Pope; that it would tend to put him under constraint; that what he did after these relations should be established would be done under duress, and be protested against, like the acts he did under the constraint imposed upon him by Napoleon. Why, not only the present Pope, but also the late, had frequently expressed a great desire that there should be diplomatic relations between this country and Rome: the late Pope never allowed an opportunity to pass which was offered by the visit of any distinguished Englishman at Rome, 508 without expressing his wish that diplomatic relations should be established. Really some hon. Members would be "more Popish than the Pope." It was only the other day that the Italian States entered into a commercial league; if we were to have commercial relations with this league, we must have them with the members of it, and the Pope was one.
§ MR. BRIGHT
said, the Opposition were pursuing a course which would make it impossible for any Government to carry on the business of the country; they would neither let the Government measures pass, nor take the reins of Government themselves. As for the present Bill, there might not be much good in it, but there could not be much harm. "The British lion" seemed to be frightened at a mere ghost.
§ CAPTAIN HARRIS
said, if the Bill was strictly confined to carrying into effect the principle of allowing diplomatic intercourse with a temporal prince, he (Captain Harris) was not disposed to vote against it.
§ The House divided on the question that the debate be adjourned:—Ayes 32; Noes 103: Majority 71.
§ Question again put, that the Speaker do now leave the chair.
§ LORD J. RUSSELL
said, he perceived that the hon. Member for the University of Dublin had just left the House, at which he was not surprised; for, being a Gentleman of the highest respectability, he doubtless had too much regard for his own character to vote for the Motion now made.
§ MR. FORBES
protested against the inferential imputation conveyed by the noble Lord's language. The hon. Member for Manchester, too, had ventured to charge the Members on the opposition side of the House with having obstructed the course of the Government during the Session; but he (Mr. Forbes) appealed to the noble Lord himself whether any Opposition had over acted towards a Government with greater forbearance. The country would not fail to contrast the conduct of the Opposition towards the Government, with that of a section of the House of which the Member for Manchester was one of the leaders, when Ministers de- 509 manded additional powers to enable them to preserve the public peace.
§ MR. SPOONER
assured the noble Lord and the House that he was not going to repeat what he had said upon the subject in the morning. All he wished to say was, that he thought the remarks of the noble Lord upon a Gentleman of the high character of the hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin—
§ LORD J. RUSSELL
All he had said was, that although the hon. and learned Gentleman was strenuously opposed to the Bill, and would give it his opposition in every stage, still he would not lend himself to any plan of obstruction to the Bill by repeated Motions for adjournment; and he did not wonder that, acting upon that declaration and in accordance with his high character, when we saw that plan adopted, he had left the House.
§ MR. SPOONER
That explanation then very certainly threw a slur upon all those Gentlemen who had joined in the late division. If that was to be the way in which the conscientious conduct of hon. Gentlemen was to he attacked in that House, they might be sure there would be no flinching on his side. If faction could fairly be attributed to any one, it was to the noble Lord and Her Majesty's Government. Did the noble Lord mean to pass the Bill with, or without, the concurrence of the House of Commons? Did he mean to say that one hundred Members supporting him was really and unequivocally an expression of opinion on the part of the House of Commons? He had never been in the habit of setting himself up against the opinion of the House; but he must repudiate the unjustifiable charge of the noble Lord, both for himself and those hon. Gentlemen who had joined with him in the late division. He felt bound to resent that charge, and he was not to he bullied out of the. line of conduct which he had laid down for himself, namely, that of an hon. and independent Member of that House. He would still oppose the Bill in every way which the constitutional Parliamentary privileges would allow.
§ The House subsequently divided upon the question, that the House will now resolve itself into a Committee:—Ayes 111; Noes 34: Majority 77.
|List of the AYES.|
|Abdy, T. N.||Arundel and Surrey, Earl of|
|Adair, H. E.|
|Adair, R. A. S.||Bagshaw, J.|
|Armstrong, Sir A.||Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. T.|
|Barron, Sir H. W.||M'Gregor, J.|
|Bellew, R. M.||Mangles, R. D.|
|Berkeley, hon. Capt.||Martin, J.|
|Berkeley, hon. H. F.||Matheson, Col.|
|Bernal, R.||Maule, rt. hon. F.|
|Birch, Sir T. B.||Moffatt, G.|
|Bowring, Dr.||Monsell, W.|
|Boyle, hon. Col.||Moore, G. H.|
|Bright, J.||Morpeth, Visct.|
|Brotherton, J.||Muntz, G. F.|
|Brown, W.||Norreys, Sir D. J.|
|Buller, C.||O'Connell, M. J.|
|Bunbury, E. H.||Ogle, S. C. H.|
|Buxton, Sir E. N.||Paget, Lord C.|
|Callaghan, D.||Palmerston, Visct.|
|Carew, W. H. P.||Parker, J.|
|Childers, J. W.||Pearson, C.|
|Clay, J.||Pechell, Capt.|
|Clements, hon. C. S.||Perfect, R.|
|Cocks, T. S.||Pinney, W.|
|Cowper, hon. W. F.||Power, Dr.|
|Craig, W. G.||Reynolds, J.|
|Denison, W. J.||Rich, H.|
|Divett, E.||Romilly, Sir J.|
|Dodd, G.||Rumbold, C. E.|
|Drumlanrig, Visct.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Drummond, H.||Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.|
|Dundas, Adm.||Shelburne, Earl of|
|Dunne, F. P.||Smith, J. A.|
|Ebrington, Visct.||Somerville, rt. hon. Sir W.|
|Elliot, hon. J. E.||Spearman, H. J.|
|Evans, Sir D. L.||Talfourd, Serj.|
|Ferguson, Sir R. A.||Tancred, H. W.|
|Forster, M.||Tenison, E. K.|
|Greene, J.||Thompson, Col.|
|Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.||Thornely, T.|
|Grey, R. W.||Tollemache, hon. F. J.|
|Grosvenor, Lord R.||Turner, E.|
|Grosvenor, Earl||Vane, Lord H.|
|Hawes, B.||Verney, Sir H.|
|Hay, Lord J.||Wakley, T.|
|Hayter, W. G.||Ward, H. G.|
|Herbert, H. A.||Watkins, Col.|
|Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J.||Wellesley, Lord C.|
|Hobhouse, T. B.||Willcox, B. M.|
|Hodges, T. L.||Williams, J.|
|Howard, P. H.||Wilson, J.|
|Jervis, Sir J.||Wilson, M.|
|Keogh, W.||Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.|
|Labouchere, rt. hon. H.||Wrightson, W. B.|
|Lascelles, hon. W. S.|
|Lemon, Sir C.||TELLERS.|
|Lewis, G. C.||Tufnell, H.|
|Locke, J.||Hill, Lord M.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Blackstone, W. S.||Hood, Sir A.|
|Bruen, C.||Inglis, Sir R. H.|
|Burrell, Sir C. M.||Knox, Col.|
|Cabbell, B. B.||Lacy, H C.|
|Chaplin, W. J.||Mandeville, Visct.|
|Chichester, Lord J. L.||Masterman, J.|
|Coles, H. B.||Napier, J.|
|Dick, Q.||Newdegate, C. N.|
|Duncan, G.||O'Connell, J.|
|Forbes, W.||Pigott, F.|
|Forester, hon. G. C. W.||Plowden, W. H. C.|
|Frewen, C. H.||Reid, Col.|
|Goring, C.||Renton, J. C.|
|Grogan, E.||Robinson, G. R.|
|Hamilton, G. A.||Spooner, R.|
|Hildyard, T. B. T.||Tyrell, Sir J. T.|
|Vesy, K H. R. H.||Wyld, J.|
|Anstey, T. C.||Urquhart, D.|
§ House in Committee.
§ On the 1st Clause,
§ MR. ANSTEY
proposed in the 1st Clause the striking out of the words "notwithstanding anything to the contrary now in force, is to be," in line nine, and the insertion of the words "it is" in line ten. The effect of this Amendment would he, to leave the law as it at present is according to the authority of Lord Campbell. [The hon. and learned Member here quoted from Hansard of 1847, a part of Lord Campbell's speech.] It was no doubt in consequence of these opinions of Lord Campbell that this Bill had been introduced; and the Roman Catholics of this country learned to their consternation that their favourite Ministers of State had determined that the Pope should have less authority henceforward in England and Scotland than was granted to him by the Act of Toleration in 1791. It was therefore because he would rescue the religious freedom at once of the Roman Catholics and Protestants, that he proposed this Amendment.
§ LORD J. RUSSELL
said, both Lord Campbell and Lord Cottenham had no doubts as to the law; but they said there might be doubts, though they had none; and whilst the matter was not entirely clear it would not be safe to act, and it was to remove those doubts that the words were introduced which the hon. and learned Member proposed to omit.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ MR. C. PEARSON
moved the addition of which he had given notice, to the effect, that the diplomatic intercourse with Rome should be "touching and concerning international, civil, commercial, and political relations." If it was really the intention of the Government to confine the powers of its representative to such diplomatic business as would be conducted with any other State, there could be no objection to his Amendment; but if the exposition of the hon. Member for Oxford was right, and it was intended to qualify the British representative to communicate with the See of Rome regarding our domestic affairs in Ireland, through the instrumentality of the Catholic priesthood, it would be necessary so to qualify the Bill. In either case an Amendment was necessary to remove doubts. The noble Lord would find it more expedient to limit the powers of the 512 ambassador within distinct boundaries as to the spiritual and temporal jurisdiction of the Sovereign of the Roman States, than to leave them open to a misconstruction on his part. Obscure hints had been heard of an intention on the part of the Pope to portion out this country into bishoprics; and if this Bill was to be used for the purpose described by the hon. Baronet, of tranquillising Ireland by exercising an influence over the Roman Catholic clergy, he had serious apprehensions that this state of things would be hereafter made an excuse for adding another link to the chain which bound our Church and State together. He should take the sense of the Committee upon this proposal.
The SOLICITOR GENERAL
hoped the House would not accede to the proposal of the hon. Gentleman, for if it produced any effect at all, it would be an injurious effect. It was proposed to establish diplomatic relations with the Court of Rome, in the same manner as with the Court of Russia, Prussia, or any other Court; but if these words were inserted in the Bill, in cases where there was the least ingredient of a spiritual character, it would be injurious. Questions of a mixed character might arise, though in the result they were of a temporal nature, and in such no interference could take place. Suppose the Pope introduced any regulation as to the Roman Catholics of Canada, this qualification would prevent any interference. At present the Pope might divide this country into bishoprics and archbishoprics; and if the Amendment were agreed to, he might do so still; but if we had free diplomatic relations with him, the British Government might interfere to prevent such a division.
§ MR. ANSTEY
thought, that the real object and tendency of the Bill had now been indicated. For "Canada" read "Ireland," and a good key to the Ministerial intentions was supplied. He could see no reason why the Government should refuse compliance with the proposal of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Lambeth. If the noble Lord at the head of the Government really meant to deal fairly with the House and the country, and not conceal anything, he would rise and express his willingness to agree to the Amendment of his hon. Friend. He would move that the Chairman report progress, in order that the subject might be more fully discussed
§ SIR R. H. INGLIS
wished to ask the 513 noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) whether, if the Bill provided for diplomatic intercourse with the head of any other State than Rome, the Amendment now under consideration would be objected to? The Pope had two distinct characters, his temporal authority as a prince, and his spiritual authority as a Pontiff, and the Bill was intended to authorise the Government to enter into engagements with him in his double capacity. That was the reason why they opposed the Amendment of the hon. Member (Mr. Pearson). The real object of the Bill was clearly to enable the Government to ask the Pope to use certain influence with respect to his Catholic subjects in Ireland, which the Government did not feel themselves at liberty at present to do.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
begged, in reply, to ask a question of his hon. Friend who had often applied to him to make representations to the Government of Sardinia in favour of the Protestants of the Vaudois, and who had also urged him to use his influence with the Government of Switzerland on the subject of certain religions which interfered with some religious persons in the cantons of Switzerland. Now, would his hon. Friend call that an interference either in "political, commercial, civil, or international" affairs? Such questions would give rise to very disagreeable refinements, and it was not desirable to preclude the Government of this country from making similar representations, if it were thought desirable, to the Court of Rome.
wished to be informed what the effect of the exclusion of the words "Court of Rome" would be on the operation of the Bill, if the week after it passed, it was found that the Emperor of Austria had declared himself Sovereign of the Roman States, or the people of Rome had established a republic, one and indivisible, the Pope contenting himself with the title of Bishop of Rome?
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
said, if the Pope ceased to be a sovereign, there was no law to prevent this country from entering into diplomatic or other relations with the Government which might succeed him. It was only so long as he was Pope that the present Bill applied.
did not want to know whether it would be lawful to communicate with the Emperor of Austria; but whether it would be lawful under this Bill to communicate with the Pope. Sup- 514 pose the Pope were sent to Avignon, as had happened before, would it he lawful or not under this Bill to communicate with him there? If the Bill had any meaning, it was to settle this question; and it ought not to be evaded under an obscurity of terms.
§ The Committee divided on the question that the words be added:—Ayes 30; Noes 93: Majority 63.
|List of the AYES.|
|Anstey, T. C.||Maxwell, hon. J. P.|
|Blackstone, W. S.||Napier, J.|
|Bruen, Col.||Newdegate, C. N.|
|Burrell, Sir C. M.||O'Connell, J.|
|Buxton, Sir E. N.||Pigott, F.|
|Chichester, Lord J. L.||Plowden, W. H. C.|
|Forbes, W.||Reid, Col.|
|Forester, hon. G. C. W.||Renton, J. C.|
|Frewen, C. H.||Robinson, G. R.|
|Grogan, E.||Talfourd, Serj.|
|Hamilton, J. H.||Thompson, G.|
|Harris, hon. Capt.||Urquhart, D.|
|Hildyard, T. B. T.||Vyse, R. H. R. H.|
|Hood, Sir A.|
|Inglis, Sir R. H.||TELLERS.|
|Knox, Col.||Pearson, C.|
|Mandeville, Visct.||Spooner, R.|
§ MR. J. O'CONNELL
moved, that at the end of the clause, after the words "Sovereign of the Roman States," the words "and Sovereign Pontiff" be added.
§ The Committee again divided:—Ayes 8; Noes 104: Majority 96.
|List of the AYES.|
|Fagan, J.||Thompson, Col.|
|Greene, J.||Urquhart, D.|
|Moore, G. H.|
|O'Connell, M. J.||TELLERS.|
|Power, Dr.||O'Connell, J.|
|Reynolds, J.||Anstey, T. C.|
§ Clause, as amended, to stand part of the Bill. House resumed. Committee to sit again.
§ House adjourned at Two o'clock.