§ MR. LAW
said, in rising to propose that the Bill be committed that day six months, it was not his intention to trespass at any length on the attention of the House. The measure had already undergone in previous debates considerable inquiry and investigation. It was generally agreed that the Bill should be divided into two portions— namely, the proposed repeal of obsolete statutes, and the penalties still to be enforced; and the reconsideration of the great measure of Roman Catholic Emancipation which was passed in 1829. He could not but regret that this Bill was presented to the House in such a shape as to catch the greatest number of votes for the purpose of going into Committee, without regard to the real merits of the Bill. Many hon. Members suggested, as a ground for further inquiry and for going into Committee, that there was something left on the Statute-book which pressed with great hardship on the Roman Catholics; whilst, on the other side, there were some who were bold enough to undertake the reopening of the question itself. He agreed with the hon. Member for Midhurst, that, virtually and in substance, all the penalties complained of were repealed by the several statutes to which that hon. Gentleman drew the attention of the House. Many were bold enough to combat the other arguments of the hon. Member for Midhurst; but there were none on the Ministerial benches, nor any of the legal profession, who attempted to deny that, virtually and in substance, all the penalties complained of, and which it was proposed to repeal, were not already repealed by an Act of the Legislature. He should be needlessly occupying the time of the House by going over the ground taken by the hon. and learned Member referred to; but there was one Act to which attention had been particularly drawn, and the passing of which in the present state of the law had been much debated—he alluded to the 1st of Elizabeth, or as much of that Act as regulated the penalties formerly enacted for impugning the supremacy of the Crown. That Act did not proceed, as was usual in the creation of a new offence, by saying, that whosoever did so and so would be liable to such and such penalties; but it assumed that those who impugned the supremacy of the Crown would 702 incur the penalties of prœmunire. The 1st of Elizabeth assumed it to be an offence at common law, and then proceeded to enact severe penalties; but those penalties were absolutely repealed by an Act introduced by Lord Lyndhurst. But that noble Lord stated expressly, that the repeal of the penalties would not legalise the act of impugning the supremacy of the Crown, and that while he repealed the penalties he left the law precisely as it stood before the Statute of the 1st of Elizabeth had passed. This being the case, he could not concur in the propriety of going into Committee to consider the necessity of repealing a statute which, to the common understanding of any man who could read, was absolutely repealed already. He had gone through the other statutes referred to by the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst, and he saw no reason to impugn the general accuracy of his statements that all the penalties were repealed, or a substitute afforded to the individual, by which all those penalties might be evaded. He now came to the question whether the House was prepared to go into Committee to review the Emancipation Act, and to remove the securities under which that Act was conceded. Whether that Act was just or beneficial or not, it was an Act passed with the greatest difficulty, and was much opposed to the feelings and wishes of the great body of the Protestant people of this country. If the Minister of the day and his adherents had prevailed on their friends to give way on so momentous a question, the express condition was, that certain securities, alleged to be essential, should accompany the Act of Emancipation; it was hard indeed that the House should be called upon now to repeal such securities, or to disturb a question thus settled, and re-open all the agitation and painful feeling which originally accompanied a concession so unacceptable to the great majority of the British people. If he were called upon to re-open the question at all, he would not agree to any partial repeal of it; on the contrary, if he were driven to his original feeling—and he was quite satisfied that that was the feeling participated in by many in and out of that House—if he were driven to repeal the securities, he would also endeavour to repeal the Act itself: upon no other terms would he consent to repeal the securities. He deprecated those constantly recurring questions—recurring on the most frivolous pretexts—respecting obsolete and repealed 703 statutes. He deprecated, in the strongest degree, the re-agitation of this most momentous question. Could any one say that without those securities—feeble, unhappily, as they were—the consent of the British Legislature would have been given to the measure? Neither the Throne, the Legislature, nor the people, would have consented to the passing of the measure, unless it had been accompanied by other securities, and unless the measure was to be deemed, in all respects, a final settlement of that great question. It was now too bad to be told at the end of eighteen years that those securities should be repealed. This was a most unhappy moment in which to raise again debates upon religious subjects affecting our Roman Catholic brethren. He could from his heart have wished, that, instead of making fresh demands, they had rallied round their Protestant brethren, and assisted in preserving the Christianity of the British nation, and not in introducing into Parliament persons who were the greatest enemies of Christianity. The democratic tendency in Ireland, and the use made of it in reference to the Roman Catholic religion, seemed to be directed against the institutions of this country as affecting the Church of England. This division among Christians, Roman Catholic and Protestant, upon the question of an exclusively Christian Legislature, was a very heavy blow dealt by one class of Her Majesty's subjects against another class, struggling to prevent the admission of infidels into the House of Commons.
MR. HENRY DRUMMOND
considered that the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Law), and his amendment to the present Bill, were made some twenty years too late. The principle of the constitution of that House once was the exclusion from its walls of all except members of the Church of England. He did what he could to prevent the alteration of that constitution. The Roman Catholic Gentlemen in that House and the Dissenters owed nothing to him, for he did everything in his power to exclude them. But it had seemed fitting to the wisdom of Parliament to alter that whole constitution; and the constitution now established went upon the principle that there should be no exclusion from any post or office for religious opinions. Without saying whether this were right or wrong, he must maintain that, unless those who thought as he thought twenty years ago would endeavour to per- 704 suade the House to retrace all its steps, it was perfectly absurd to suppose that any modification of that first principle could ever be revived. No Roman Catholic, no Dissenter, would or ought to rest satisfied until, by continual importunity, he had wrung either from our justice or our fears the full participation of all which we enjoyed ourselves. The common justice of mankind cried out against this system of exclusion, and its advocates had not a leg left to stand upon. If such a Bill could not be opposed on the ground of principle, it was vain to argue it on the ground of expediency. The hon. and learned Gentleman had said that the Roman Catholic Relief Bill was conceded by a reluctant Government and a reluctant people, in the hope of conciliation. In so saying, he had recalled reminiscences which it would have been better to leave in silence. It was no credit to the Government of that day that granted the measure. The parties who introduced that measure asked Parliament to pass it in order to avert civil war. That was a dangerous lesson; it taught the people that it was only necessary to agitate to the verge of civil war, and then the Government and the Legislature would grant anything they required. It was impossible to believe that any of the dreadful results to which the hon. and learned Member had referred would flow from the adoption of the measure under consideration. For his part, he could not make out what person or what thing was in danger. It was said that some abstraction, called the Church of England, was in danger; but he sought in vain for it. When it could be shown what person or what thing was in danger, it would be time enough to take measures to guard against the peril. It was exceedingly unjust, to say the least of it, to talk of throwing open to Roman Catholics the offices from which they were at present excluded, as a concession, as if we Protestants were, after all, the lords and masters of all persons professing a different creed, and could give and withhold privileges at our sovereign will and pleasure. We had gone too far to allow of our standing upon that ground any longer; and to those Gentlemen who would attempt to make believe that that ground was really tenable, he would take the liberty of pointing out how dangerous it was to hold language on one side of the House which they were aware they could not use on the other. There were among the Gentlemen on that (the Opposition) side of the House 705 some who were candidates for the opposite seats; would they venture to form any Government upon the principle of Church-of-Englandism? They knew they would not. Then let him remind them, that if there was one thing which more than another had tended to bring the proceedings of that House into contempt, it was that men would, for certain purposes, maintain opinions, or at least use arguments, which they knew they could not maintain on the opposite benches. For these reasons, and for many others, he held it to be very desirable that the House should go into Committee on the Bill.
§ SIR R. H. INGLIS
questioned whether the hon. Member for West Surrey had read the Bill. Could that hon. Member find any one single, he would not say clause or provision, but line in the Bill, which made especial reference to place, office, or distinction of any kind whatever? And yet the hon. Member, with an authority which he did not deny was due to his talents, but which he denied was due to him in any other respect, pronounced, with that oracular tone and manner which so eminently distinguished him, that, whether it were wrung from their justice or their fears, neither the Roman Catholic nor the Dissenter ought to rest satisfied until he had obtained perfect religions equality with the Protestants of these realms. But this Bill did not seek in the slightest manner to confer any privilege upon the Dissenter—it merely sought to give more freedom to the Church of Rome in this country. He would sit down instantly to enable his hon. Friend to correct him if he were under a misapprehension; but he had given no sign of any such mistake on his part; and he (Sir R. H. Inglis) contended that, whether the speech of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge might or might not have been appropriately delivered against the Bill of 1829, it was a speech which also, and directly, applied to the Bill now before the House. The speech of his hon. Friend the Member for West Surrey had nothing whatever to do with the subject of the present discussion. That hon. Gentleman rose at a time when the hon. and learned Member for Youghal (Mr. Anstey) intended to address the House, as by the forms of the House he could not have answered the speech of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Midhurst on the day on which it was delivered. He knew that it was the inten- 706 tion of the hon. and learned Member for Youghal to have risen; and, indeed, he had risen for the purpose of endeavouring to answer that most able and, he believed, unanswerable speech. It had been conclusively demonstrated by the conjoint efforts of the two hon. and learned Members (Mr. Law and Mr. Walpole), that, as far as related to the first part of the Bill then on the table of the House, of the eight statutes proposed to be repealed, six, at least, had already been taken out of the Statute-book; but such was the vigour and determination of the Hon. and learned Member for Youghal, like a certain hero after a famous battle, that he was not content with seeing their dead bodies before him thrice slain, but he must still further endeavour to destroy them. Would any man deny that six of the Acts proposed to be repealed by this Bill had been specifically repealed by statute a few years ago? While the hon. and learned Member (Mr. Anstey) came forward with the pretext of removing Acts which were quite obsolete, and which were mere incumbrances on the Statute-book, and were the works of the dark ages, as they were once called in that House—his real intention was by this Bill to destroy such securities as Parliament provided, by a large majority, for maintaining the ascendancy of Protestantism and the constitution of England in 1829. As was stated in the numerously signed petition from Bristol which he had that day had the honour of presenting, as well as that presented by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge, this measure was brought forward ostensibly for the purpose of removing grievances which existed only in name, but substantially for the purpose of demolishing those securities which we still enjoyed for the maintenance of our Protestant constitution, But, as had been said, with great force, by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge, the time itself was ill-omened and inopportune for any such measures. He (Sir R. H. Inglis) would not admit that any time was opportune for the proposal of such measures; but he agreed with his hon. and learned Friend in thinking that in the present state, not only of England, but of Europe generally, it was a most unfortunate time for the removal of any securities which remained to Protestantism in this or any other country. Why, what had been said to be the intention of the Pope in reference to this country? And had it ever been contradicted? 707 Had it ever been denied, up to the present moment, that the Pope was attempting to do, in this Protestant realm of England, what he ventured to say fearlessly, and without hazard of contradiction from any representative of Her Majesty's Government then in the House, not even from the right hon. Gentleman who sat beside him (Mr. Sheil), the Pope would not dare to attempt—he used the words most deliberately—in that kingdom nearest to our own—the kingdom of France. He sincerely believed that the Pope would no more dare to create a bishopric in France without the consent of the Sovereign, than he dared to raise an army to attack the King of France bodily in his own dominions. He knew full well that he could no more venture to do that in Austria—he stated all this deliberately, and without hazard of contradiction—the Pope would not dare to do that in any part of Roman Catholic Europe. But the Pope relied upon that ill-omened conjunction of the members of his own Church with the great body of Liberals and Dissenters and Latitudinarians in England—the conjoint influence of whose power might prevent the Government of the day from taking any measures to resist his attempts. It appeared, then, as his statement had not been contradicted, that it was the intention of the Court of Rome to subdivide Her Majesty's European dominions, as well as those beyond sea, into bishoprics, without the consent of the Crown of England; and he contended, in the language of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, whose petition he had the honour of presenting in the course of the present Session, that it was high time that England should, instead of repealing its own just and necessary law against Popish aggression, vindicate its own independency, by calling on the Bishop of Rome to withdraw his usurpations and invasions upon the dignity of the English Crown, the integrity of the English constitution, and the liberties of the English people. He fully concurred in the sentiments of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster. He hoped that the time had arrived when the Bishop of Rome—that was the legal language of the Church of England, which the distinguished individuals forming the Dean and Chapter of Westminster were not ashamed to use—should be called upon to withdraw this system of aggrandisement, aggression, and usurpation, and to leave unbroken those barriers which had still preserved to us our Protestantism, 708 and which might God long preserve! His hon. Friend the Member for West Surrey would not, as he (Sir R. Inglis) had already said, find a single line in this Bill which had special reference to any place, office, or dignity, which was withheld from members of the Church of Rome by any existing statute, and which the present Bill proposed either to restore, or place afresh in their power. He (Sir R. H. Inglis) knew that there were members of the communion of the Church of Rome who, publicly and privately, for the last eighteen or nineteen years—he would not say forgetful of any obligations into which they had entered, but certainly with a disregard of the spirit of the stipulations made on their behalf by those who introduced the Act of Roman Catholic Emancipation in 1829—had striven and were striving to procure the repeal of all the securities which the Act of 1829 provided, and to obtain all those places which the law at that time kept from them. He knew what their defence was, because, after very little experience in that House, any one might know the tactics of those with whom they associated. They did not originate the measures themselves, and therefore they said they were not injuring the Protestant Church. The measures originated with members of the Protestant Church, and then Roman Catholic Members, whatever might have been the understanding, the declarations, or the spirit of the stipulations of 1829, would say, in defence of their vote for such measures.—"A member of the Protestant Church has brought forward this Bill; and I feel myself justified in voting for it, because a Protestant Member would not have introduced it if he thought it was calculated to diminish the security of Protestantism." Incidentally he might notice that a measure had been introduced elsewhere, of which he would not say more at present, because he wished to abstain, not only from introducing extraneous matter, but also to refrain from expressing an opinion, until he was directly called upon to do so: but that Bill, he perceived, did give, not the Christian title which our Christian Church and laws, for generations, and for centuries almost, had applied, viz., Bishop of Rome, but that quasi heathen title of Pontifex Maximus, or Supreme Pontiff, to the head of the Roman Catholic Church. [Mr. SPEAKER: The hon. Member must not discuss a Bill which is before the other House of Parliament.] He begged to apologise to the right hon. Gen- 709 tleman and to the House. The first of the clauses of the Bill of the hon. and learned Member provided that a Roman Catholic ecclesiastic, or member of a religious order of that Church, should be allowed to perform religious services and wear the habits of his order in any place where a congregation might be assembled for religious service according to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church, or in a private house where there were not more than five persons assembled besides those of his household. Now he remembered to have heard the late Mr. O'Connell use language to the following effect:—"No one can be more ready than I to oppose any clause which would legalise any procession of the Host, or expose the adorable sacrament to insult." He knew it was a very different thing to carry the Host in procession before a mixed multitude and in the streets of a populous city, and to expose a crucifix or other objects of religious use and worship in the same streets in another service; but he apprehended that neither the one nor the other could at this moment be legally adopted in England; and he was still more certain that not one could be adopted which could more offend public decency and the public peace. And yet, though it was distinctly prohibited by the Emancipation Act that funeral processions, with Roman Catholic emblems, should be permitted to pass through the streets or public highways of this country, he had great reason to believe, not merely that an attempt had been made to solemnise the service of the Church of Rome over the dead, in an English Protestant churchyard, but that a procession had been seen, extending for some distance on a turnpike-road, and in the immediate neighbourhood of a noble Lord, whom he named in this instance that he might honour him—he referred to the Earl of Shrewsbury, who, when he was informed of it, prohibited it. He stated that he mentioned that to the honour of the noble Earl, though he believed that testimony from a Protestant would be regarded as anything but flattering to the character of that noble Earl, and would only entitle his Lordship to the renewed obloquy of those who were incapable of appreciating integrity and truthfulness. He begged pardon, however, of the noble Earl for presuming to introduce his name into these discussions. He held in his hand a letter, duly authenticated, which stated that there had been recently several processions such as that which had taken place in the neighbour- 710 hood of the noble Earl's residence; so that at the very moment that the House was asked by Roman Catholics to grant them concessions and indulgences, and a relaxation of the existing law, they were actually acting in violation of that law; and they knew that in so doing it was almost an impossibility to convict them, for, in the case of monks and other religious orders, their names were not known; it might be that the violator of the law was an Italian priest, who, as soon as as he heard of an intention on the part of the Government to prosecute him, could escape to his native country before any proceedings could be taken against him. He only mentioned that for the purpose of showing the spirit of aggression on the part of Rome—an aggression which was insatiable, and which would, if that House relented its firm purpose, or refused to throw out this Bill by the large majority of last year, destroy year by year Protestantism in the same manner as the framers of this Bill had endeavoured as far as they could to destroy even the profession of Christianity in this country. He meant so far as that profession was connected with the supreme Legislature of this country; and here, at least, he might say, without any breach of order, that the Bill to which his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Law) had alluded—the Bill for the admission of Jews into the Legislature-proceeded upon the postulatum that religion was a thing indifferent to the people and constitution of this country. The Bill now before the House proposed further to legalise associations of persons bound together by religious vows, although it was one of the special objects of the Act of 1829 to fetter, if not altogether to prohibit, such associations. The Bill made special reference to the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits. Now, when he recollected that the wisdom and sagacity of every nation in Christendom in the course of the last 250 years had successively expelled the members of that order from their respective dominions, he could not admit the truthfulness or accuracy of an expression used by the late Mr. O'Connell, that "the virtues of the Jesuits were their crimes." He (Sir R. H. Inglis) hardly knew whether that was an extemporary verse made expressly for the occasion, or whether it emanated originally from some other authority; but he denied that the assertion was founded on truth. How could he give assent to it when he found that there was not a country in Europe, whe- 711 ther Roman Catholic or Protestant, from which the Jesuits had not been expelled? They were banished from France in 1594, from England in 1604, from Venice in 1606, from Portugal in 1759, from Spain in 1767, from Naples, Malta, and Parma in 1768, and from Paraguay (where if in any country on the face of the earth they ought, one would suppose, to have been recommended by the practical results of their teachings) in 1733. Finally, they were suppressed by the Pope himself in 1773. And yet that was the society which it was now proposed to reinvite into England, and whose residence amongst the English people was to be made a matter of praise and eulogy, rather than of censure and injury. Every one of the countries which he had enumerated as kingdoms from which the Jesuits had been banished was Roman Catholic, with the exception of England, and nevertheless every one of them had found the existence of the Jesuits intolerable. He could not but think that they had so found it with too much reason for themselves. Their doctrines had been so frequently exposed in that House—on a memorable occasion eighteen years ago, and on many occasions since that period, and were so well known to hon. Members, through their acquaintance with general literature, that it was unnecessary for him to expend much observation on the question now; but there was one objection that he was anxious to deal with. He might be told that although he might succeed in excluding the corporeal presence of the Jesuits, it was wholly out of his power to exclude their books and their principles; but to this argument no weight was to be attached. Was he to be told that because he could not exclude the book, he was not on that account lawfully and perseveringly to endeavour to exclude the commentator? Bad as their books were, they were made still worse by their viva voce commentaries; and of two evils it was better to have the book by itself, than the book with the commentator. If he could not exclude the Secreta Monita, was he not, at least, bound to do his best to keep out the ingenious logician whose living commentaries on that pernicious book would make its doctrines yet more injurious? While on the subject of the doctrines of the Jesuits, he would take occasion to say that those doctrines were very remarkably illustrated by one passage from a very famous book of theirs to which he recently had had access. He 712 was sorry that a distinguished Member of that House was not in his place to hear it read; but his absence should not prevent him from giving the House the benefit of the extract. The passage he was about to quote was taken from the Exercitia Spiritualia (Rome, 1548)—a work the value of which would be acknowledged even by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Youghal. It ran thus:—Denique ut ipsi eeclesiæ cunctæ Catholicæ omnino unanimes conformesque simus siquid quod oculis nostris apparet album nigrum illa esse deffinierit debemus quod nigrum sit pronunciare.He would not make a more direct reference to any one not then present, but it might be in the recollection of the House that there was a certain hon. Member whom no enemy had ever accused of being a Jesuit, but who, nevertheless, had said that he would undertake to vote black white, and white black. The use that would be made of that incident by the advocates of the present measure, would be to represent that it was not necessary for a man to be a Jesuit to hold the doctrine that black might be made white, and white black, according as expediency required; and that, therefore, no such great danger would follow on the admission of the Jesuits. But in answer to that argument, he (Sir R. Inglis) would venture to say that the hon. Member in question, whose opinion, however valuable on a question of finance, or of public taste, was not, perhaps, equally so in a matter of morals. The statement as made by the hon. Member was harmless, except in so far as the hon. Member himself might be concerned; but it was far different when such a doctrine was laid down by a great religious community such as the Church of Rome, and was explained and enforced by the most powerful of all the religious orders belonging to that Church. The hon. and learned Member for Youghal had said that, at this moment, every Christian Brother was liable to transportation to Norfolk Island. [Mr. ANSTEY: Hear!] Now that was a serious charge; and he hoped that the hon. and learned Gentleman, whilst replying to the masterly exposure of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Midhurst (Mr. Walpole) would not forget to address himself to that subject. With regard to the first point, the oath of supremacy, he begged to say that the hon. and learned Gentleman, as had been done in several instances by his predecessor, Mr. Watson, quoted 713 cases for the purpose of showing the justice of relieving Roman Catholics from the penalties attaching to non-compliance with the Act of Supremacy. Now, if there were grievances existing which affected Roman Catholics and Dissenters, he wished to ask the hon. Member for West Surrey (Mr. H. Drummond) why he had not proposed some provision in this Bill which might also apply to the case of the Dissenter? But with regard to the members of the Church of England, he warned the House to take care that they repealed no provisions of the Act of Supremacy. Do not let it be said that any member of the Church of England wished on any account to deny the right of the Queen to any portion of authority which by law belonged to her over that Church. He knew that what he was saying would be taken in a different sense to that in which he used those words; but they had learnt enough in the course of the last six or seven years to be aware that there were many who anxiously desired to sever the connexion between the Church and the State. To that connexion he was firmly attached— believing that in any country the State gained more from religion than religion gained from the State—and believing that in our own country it was most essential, particularly in the mixed multitudes who were now permitted to legislate for that Church, that the Church should have the protection of that State with which it was allied. But though he believed that the Church should be inseparably united with the State, he knew not how Roman Catholics, Dissenters, and Protestants indifferent to the Church of England's interest, in that House, might hereafter affect that union; and he, therefore, protested against any diminution of the securities which the Church of England enjoyed. His hon. Friend near him wished to know against what the Church of England was to be protected. He would tell him. The Church of England was to be protected against her own sons, who, in her own pulpits, might preach doctrine contrary to her own. Any measure which could at all tend to take away any of those securities now provided for the maintenance of the union between Church and State, must of necessity be deeply detrimental to the best interests of both, and to any such measure he should therefore feel himself called upon to offer the most strenuous opposition. In conclusion, he would only say that he could wish that all the Roman Catholics of the em- 714 pire were animated by the same spirit as a certain noble Member of the English aristocracy who was accustomed to take a prominent part in the discussions of this kind. Twenty years ago he expressed a wish that all the Catholics of the kingdom had been led by the Cliffords, and now he could wish that they were all led by the Howards. He could not better conclude than by adopting the language of the Earl of Arundel and Surrey, in a letter addressed by that noble personage to his Friend, Mr. Plumptre:—Would to God that we were all united in one faith, and could devote all our time and all our energies to His service, and in His service to the benefit of His creatures our fellow-men, instead of taking part in endless disputations; and if we cannot be members of the same holy faith, would to God that we could concede full liberty to all, yielding in a generous spirit to the dictates of charity and justice, interpreting each other's feelings with brotherly love, seeking to put the best construction on each other's actions, and palliating each other's faults!It had ever been his (Sir R. Inglis's) anxious desire to conform his life to these admirable precepts; and he could not forbear saying that he felt happy that on the present occasion an opportunity should have arisen for quoting from one, of whom he would only say that his words, actions, and demeanour in that House had been in uniform and undeviating accordance with the feelings which he had so felicitously expressed. He had much pleasure in seconding the Amendment.
§ MR. H. DRUMMOND, in reference to the hon. Baronet's remarks as to his not having proposed a clause in favour of Dissenters, explained that it would be impossible, as the measure was intituled "A Bill for the further repeal of enactments inflicting pains and penalties upon Her Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects on account of their religion."
§ MR. ANSTEY
would not attempt to follow the hon. Baronet (Sir R. H. Inglis) in his observations with respect to the connexion between Church and State —first of all, because the object of this Bill was in nowise to destroy that connexion; and, secondly, because he thought the internal management of the Church of England, her doctrines or her discipline, were not the points under the consideration of the House. It was true that this measure did not profess to give Protestant Dissenters relief from such enactments as related equally to Roman Catholics and Dissenters; but in framing this Bill so as 715 to confine its provisions to the Roman Catholics, he had in view the powerful argument which was urged against a Bill brought into the Legislature some years ago, and which was generally called "Lord Beaumont's Bill," and which would no doubt have been raised against this Bill had it been open to such an argument, viz., that a measure had been brought forward by a Roman Catholic, professedly for the relief of his brethren, and yet meddling with matters in which Roman Catholics were in nowise concerned, and dealing with the interests of those who had not placed any trust or confidence in its framer or supporters. When a measure for the relief of Protestant Dissenters from such penalties as might still affect them was brought before that House, and of which Protestant Dissenters might approve, he was sure there was not a Member of the Legislature who would be more ready than himself to give it support. His attention had been especially directed by the hon. Baronet (Sir R. H. Inglis) to the law as it regarded the Christian Brothers. He (Mr. Anstey) did say, and he now repeated, that the Christian Brothers, whom the hon. Baronet specified, no doubt, because their popularity and their avocations freed them of a share of that odium which attached at present to the regulars at large —those Christian Brothers, in common with all religious orders of the Church of Rome, were at this moment subject to legislation which made them liable, in the first place, to fine and banishment, and in the last place to the pains and penalties of transportation for life, aye, to Norfolk Island, or to any other penal settlement which Her Majesty, by the advice of her Privy Council, might select. He stated that advisedly—he stated it on his responsibility as a lawyer and as a Member of that House; and, if the hon. Baronet wished to have a proof of his statement, he would refer him to the clauses in the Act of Parliament—the 10th George IV., c. 7, beginning with Clause 28, and ending with Clause 36, which clauses provided that if any Jesuit or Regular, sentenced and ordered to banishment under that Act, should be found at large within these realms, without lawful cause, at the end of three calendar months—[Ironical cheers.] He did not understand the meaning of those cheers—he was answering a question put to him by the hon. Baronet—he was proceeding to read a clause which, in his judgment, 716 made the Christian Brothers liable to the heavy penalty of transportation for life to Norfolk Island, or any other penal colony. [Sir R. H. INGLIS: There is no penalty if they register their names.] He would first finish the clause, and he would then answer the objection. The clause was, that if any Jesuit or Regular, sentenced and ordered to banishment under the Act in question, should be found at large within these realms without lawful cause, after the end of three calendar months from the time of such sentence and order, such person should on conviction be sentenced to transportation for life. Now it was true that some Regulars and Jesuits, on registering their names, were protected by another clause of the Act from the general penalty; but the House would see in one moment that it was not true that all Jesuits and all Regulars might now register their names in the manner required by one portion of the Act. The preamble of the first clause recited the expediency of making provision for the gradual suppression and final prohibition of the Jesuits and the members of the other religious orders and communities of the Church of Rome, within the United Kingdom. If it were true that by registering their names all Jesuits and regulars whatever could protect themselves, how could the purpose of that enactment be accomplished? How could their "gradual suppression and final prohibition" take place? But the House need not be left to mere conjecture on this matter: they were told expressly in the succeeding clauses, first of all, that the Jesuits and Regulars—he begged the House to mark the language—who were resident in the United Kingdom on the 23rd of April, 1829, should, within three months after that day, register themselves according to the form described by the Act. And if a natural-born subject, being also a Jesuit or a Regular, should happen on the 23rd of April, 1829, to have been out of the realm, and should afterwards come into the realm, he might, within six months after his arrival, register himself. Then it was provided that those Jesuits and Regulars who had so registered themselves, should be allowed to remain in the realm without molestation. Now, since the passing of that Act, or rather since the period named by the Act—the 23rd of April, 1829—nineteen years had elapsed, and he need not inform the hon. Baronet that a very large proportion of the Regulars of the Church of Rome, at pre- 717 sent officiating in Great Britain and Ireland, were not within the letter nor the spirit of that enactment. Yet they had professed themselves Jesuits or Regulars, since the 23rd of April, 1829: and it was not competent for them to register themselves, first, because the Act of Parliament made no provision for their case, and, secondly, because if they had done so they would have furnished to the Attorney General of Her Majesty unimpeachable evidence of their guilt; for it was guilt which they had contracted under the letter of this penal statute. Many of those clergymen were amongst the most estimable members of the Church of Rome; and it was for their relief that the Bill before the House was intended. There were no doubt, some of the Regulars and of the Jesuits who had qualified themselves under the Act of 1829. He knew that whatever might have been the case with the Regulars of Ireland, the Jesuits and Regulars of this country did take the earliest opportunity, after the passing of the Act, to qualify themselves in the manner which it required. If, indeed, that Act had provided for the registration of those who might profess themselves after the 23rd of April, 1829, he was quite satisfied that all the Jesuits and Regulars within the United Kingdom would at this moment have been found to have qualified themselves in like manner as those who had professed before the passing of the Act. That they had not done so was owing to the penal legislation of this country. If they desired to know who those were who had violated a law which, in their conscience, they could not obey, they had only to give to the offenders the indemnity required by this Act. He hoped, then, that the House would not refuse to grant so just and reasonable a request. He (Mr. Anstey) had now, he trusted to the satisfaction of the hon. Baronet, answered his questions, and he would leave the questions and answers to the judgment of the House. He could not pass on to the consideration of some of the objections raised by the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford without first addressing to the House a few observations in reply to one or two arguments of the hon. Baronet, inapplicable though they appeared to him to be to the immediate subject of the debate. The hon. Baronet had read a quotation from the Exercitia Spiritualia, and he (Mr. Anstey) did not mean to question the accuracy of the quotation which the hon. Baronet had made from that 718 book, because he felt that the hon. Baronet was incapable of stating a falsehood. But he begged the House to bear in mind that the object of that book was not one of a political or social nature. It was a work of a spiritual nature, intended for the formation and regulation of the ascetic life, and it was more immediately directed against certain mischiefs—for they were mischiefs in the judgment of the Church of Rome—which had then made their appearance within the pale of the Church. He alluded to the religious dissensions of the sixteenth century. In laying down the rules that should guide the Christian man who aspired to the name and substance of orthodoxy within the pale of the Church, St. Ignatius Loyola had laid down doctrines which his Roman Catholic readers at least, whether they were opposed to the expulsion of the Jesuits from Venice, or were favourable to it, could not deny—namely, that in matters of faith the evidence of the senses was not to be adhered to, but the teaching of the Church. The judgment of the senses was held to be of no avail. According to the senses, the object might appear to be as if it were white, and yet the judgment of the Church might be that it was black—the subject being a mystery. He too highly regarded the sacred character of a certain doctrine to make it the object of more than a passing allusion in that House; and he need not remind the hon. Baronet that the subject peculiarly in point was the subject of the real presence, as held by the Church of Rome. In such a case the judgment of the senses must be set aside by the Roman Catholic, by whom the teaching of the Church is alone to be followed. He (Mr. Anstey) apprehended there was no Christian Member of that House who believed in mysteries—whether it were the existence of God, or the doctrine of the Trinity, or any other doctrine in which Christians were generally supposed to concur—who would not with the same effect as St. Ignatius Loyola hold to the same doctrine. Then it was said by the right hon. Baronet that Rome was engaged in a series of aggressive acts against the Church of England, and that this Bill was intended for the support of the actual Pontiff in those acts of aggression, inasmuch as it would strengthen the position of his followers within these realms. One instance the hon. Baronet quoted of what he supposed to be an aggressive nature, namely, the 719 nomination of an Archbishop of Westminster. If the fact were so, he (Mr. Anstey) thought he could satisfy the hon. Baronet that as no aggression was intended, so no injury could result from it. The hon. Baronet must be aware that ever since the Church of Rome had obtained a legal status and capacity in this country, it had been governed by vicars-apostolic, or bishops possessing legatine powers— powers far superior in character, though inferior in duration, to those belonging by the canon law to the ordinary bishops of the Church of Rome. They possessed during the period of their appointment all the powers of the ancient legate: that is to say, all the powers of the Sovereign Pontiff, with one reservation, which in legatine appointments was invariably made. On the other hand, they were (subject at any moment to be removed, with or without cause, at the will of the Sovereign Pontiff. In like manner, the priests who were subject to the vicars-apostolic of the Church of Rome in England, had very great powers—he meant powers of a spiritual nature—and those powers were greater than those which the canon law vested in the parish priest in Ireland. But they were subject to removal at the will of the vicar-apostolic, with or without cause. It might not be known to the House, but unfortunately it was but too familiar to the Roman Catholic Church, that this state of things, though at one time generally acceptable, had given rise to some difficulty of management in the Roman Catholic body; and on the common application of the English clergy and laity of the Church of Rome, the present Pontiff had determined to introduce into this country a system of church government for the Roman Catholics more nearly akin to that which prevails in Ireland than to that which hitherto had prevailed in Great Britain. The details, however, were found to be complicated, the difficulties that presented themselves were immense, and up to that moment no decision had been made. He would demonstrate to the House the impossibility of any decision having been as yet taken. There could be no archbishop or bishop appointed within this country without parish priests to elect them. Now, that question was still before the Court of Rome, and undecided. If the hon. Baronet had heard any rumour with respect to the appointment of any person to the position of an archbishop in Westminster, his information had been pre- 720 mature. He (Mr. Anstey) acknowledged that he had himself heard such a rumour; but within a few days after it was first ventilated, he had heard it contradicted on the authority of the very Prelate to whom rumour had assigned the Archbishopric of Westminster, namely, the right rev. Dr. Wiseman. At the same time he must inform the hon. Baronet, that if he supposed the legal recognition of the episcopal authority enjoyed by the Catholic prelates was yet to come, he was behind the age in his information. For some years since, in the case of a peerage, where a claim was made to the dukedom of Sussex, a decision of the House of Lords, arrived at after consultation with the Judges, established the judicial authority, not merely the spiritual authority and capacity, of all prelates of the Church of Rome having legatine powers from the Pope within this country. Their Lordships accepted the verbal declaration of such prelates as irrefragable evidence of what was the canon law at Rome on the subject of marriage between Roman Catholics and Protestants. They were held to be juris periti, not because they were doctors in the Roman courts of justice (for they denied that they had ever practised there), but simply because they administered it here in England and Wales as judges under the authority of the Papal rescript. Upon testimony thus given, and with the unanimous concurrence of Lord Lyndhurst, then Chancellor, of all the learned Lords and of all the Judges, did the House of Lords decide upon giving effect to a marriage, which up to that period of the case they had determined to set aside, and pronounce invalid ab initio. The effect of that decision was to establish the validity of the marriage of the late Duke of Sussex with the mother of Sir Augustus D'Este and Mademoiselle D'Este, in every country in the world, except in this country, where the validity of the marriage depended upon the wording of the Royal Marriage Act. It was unjust to impute to the framers of the Bill at present under discussion, any feeling hostile to the Christianity of the country. It was true he (Mr. Anstey) had voted for the measure to remove Jewish disabilities; and he justified that vote on the great principle so profoundly and ably expounded by the right hon. Gentleman near him (Mr. Gladstone) in the eloquent and statesmanlike speech he had delivered on that subject. But there was no connexion between the two measures. There was the same difference 721 of judgment amongst Roman Catholics as amongst Protestants upon the question of Jewish emancipation. If some Roman Catholic Members had voted for that measure, two had voted against it. It might gratify the hon. Baronet to know that it was in his (Mr. Anstey's) power to make what he conceived to be a conclusive answer to every one of the objections brought forward on a former occasion by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Midhurst, and repeated that day by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge. He knew that in one or two instances he could establish to the satisfaction of his hon. and learned Friend himself, that the main objection proceeded upon a false assumption of the present state of the law with respect to Roman Catholics. To begin with the first Act, commonly called the Act of Supremacy, there was a misapprehension on this subject, into which his hon. and learned Friend had been led by the language of the Act commonly called the Religious Opinions Act. That Act provided for the repeal of this enactment so far only as the specific penalties named in the Act were concerned, and no further. But the common-law penalties of fine and imprisonment for the simple misdemeanor of contravening a statute in which no penalties were mentioned, did now, precisely because of that repeal of penalties, attach to the offences named in the Act. With respect to the second Act, the 13th Elizabeth, chap. 2, his hon. and learned Friend was mistaken in supposing that the Act went no further than he had stated. Under the Act of Elizabeth, it was still illegal to bring in any bull whatever from the See of Rome, however harmless its character; for instance, a bull for the consecration of vicars-apostolic, or that which had been addressed to the bishops of Ireland, telling them not to permit the denunciation of any persons from the altar in Ireland for matters of a temporal or a civil character. Such bulls were as illegal at this moment as the bull In Cœna Domini, for there was a clause in the Act of Elizabeth which had escaped the hon. and learned Gentleman's observation, and which said, that if any person or persons should obtain or get from the said Bishop of Rome, or any of his successors, any manner of bull, writing, or instrument, containing any matter or thing whatever, or publish any such bull, writing, &c, every such act should be deemed and adjudged to be high 722 treason. Now, the Religious Opinions Act repealed the penalties for high treason contained in the Act, but stopped there. That is to say, the Act was repealed only as to those penalties, but otherwise left in force. Therefore, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, who lately had received a rescript from the See of Rome on the subject of denunciations from the altar, and had published it to the bishops and clergy, was at that moment liable to the punishment of fine and imprisonment for misdemeanor, inasmuch as he had violated the express letter of the Act of Parliament. He (Mr. Anstey) proposed to abolish this mischievous legislation; and that would be the effect of the Bill which was now brought before the House, if it were suffered to pass into law. He was surprised to hear it said that the Papal supremacy was illegal at common law. There had frequently, in the history of this country, been contests between the temporal and spiritual powers—there had been discussions, not on the existence of Papal supremacy, but on the degree and extent thereof. Some popes might have too much extolled that supremacy; some kings might have overmuch depressed it; but there never was a question at the common law that the spiritual supremacy of the Catholic Church in England was vested in the Pope of Rome. The first Act of Parliament to the contrary, was passed in the reign of Henry VIII. That Act took the supremacy away. There had, indeed, always been difficult and delicate matters to regulate with regard to Church and State, and these matters had furnished many subjects for legislation. But the House would find, on referring to the law of prœmunire, for instance, that that law proceeded altogether on the assumption that the Pope exercised a lawful spiritual supremacy within this kingdom. He would not read the clauses singly, but he would refer the House to the first Act of prœmunire, the 38th of Edward III. That Act, in its preamble, recites the mischief which had called for legislation. It says that citations had been served on the subjects of this realm dwelling in this country to appear in courts out of the realm, on false suggestions and suppositions. If, as the Act stated, people were cited to Rome on false suggestions, then the practice would certainly have constituted an intolerable grievance. But did the Legislature declare that no such jurisdiction existed as that exercised by the 723 Court of Rome? No; they acknowledged the existence of such a court, but merely enacted that citations issued from it should not he served on the subjects of this realm dwelling within the realm. The 16th of Richard II. contained a similar provision. Those, and such as those, were the only provisions in Acts of Parliament anterior to the reign of Henry VIII., passed in derogation of the Papal jurisdiction. That which by the Act of Supremacy was made an offence, and was at the present moment an offence punishable by fine and imprisonment, was no offence at common law. The 13th and 14th of Charles II. was partially repealed by the 7th and 8th Victoria—commonly called Lord Beaumont's Act—and by the Religious Opinions Act, the 9th and 10th Victoria. The former repealed the Act so far as the Statute of Edward VI. was concerned, and the Common Prayer Book set forth in that statute. The latter repealed the Act so far as it related to schoolmasters, leaving untouched the offence against the Common Prayer Book. Many alterations in the law were effected by the 13th of Charles II. Some lawyers were of opinion that under that Act parties were punishable for joining in any form of worship except that authorised by, and laid down in, the Common Prayer Book. Lord Beaumont's Act merely repealed the part relating to education. He (Mr. Anstey) proposed not only to repeal the clauses affecting education, but those relating to recusancy at large. If any Roman Catholic took his seat in Parliament without first taking the oaths prescribed by the Catholic Emancipation Act, the ordinary penalties were quite sufficient without continuing the penalties on recusancy, By the 7th and 8th William III., cap. 24, lawyers were still required to take the oaths of abjuration, allegiance, and supremacy. Whilst all other classes of Her Majesty's subjects were exempted from taking these oaths, lawyers were still liable to take them under the penalty of prœmunire. The 31st of George III. was not included in Lord Beaumont's Act, but it was partially included in the Religious Opinions Act, that is to say, so far as concerned the registration of masters and mistresses of schools, and the education of children of Protestants. He proposed to take away all the other penalties contained in that Act. He might be told that if these penalties were inoperative they need not be repealed, and that it was in the power of 724 Roman Catholics to protect themselves by taking the oaths required by the 10th George IV. But why maintain them at all? Were they necessary securities to the Church of England? In reply to the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford, he would say that the hon. Baronet had a ready test of the expediency or inexpediency of repealing these penalties. Let him say whether men deserve to be prosecuted for worshipping in an unregistered chapel, or in their own houses, or in a church with a steeple and bells. Nor was this all: he (Mr. Anstey) had before him the copy of a petition presented to the last Parliament from the Cistercian monks of La Trappe, residing at their convent of Mount St. Bernard (Leicestershire). The petitioners stated that they had all violated the law, and therefore were all liable to be banished, or subject to the punishment of transportation if they refused to banish themselves, for worshipping God in the way they thought best. If the hon. Baronet thought the laws he (Mr. Anstey) proposed should be repealed were expedient, he had the best opportunity of putting them in force against these poor Cistercians of Leicestershire. Their petition, printed in the Votes of Parliament, would supply all the evidence required for their indictment and conviction. For information as to the pious character and blameless lives of these monks of St. Bernard, he could confidently refer the House to the hon. Gentlemen the Members for Leicestershire, whose votes, he feared, he could not rely upon. He would confidently ask those hon. Gentlemen to say if they had observed anything in the conduct of the monks to warrant a sentence of transportation. He would appeal to every Member in any way connected with the county of Limerick, and ask were they willing to expose the Christian Brothers of that county to the persecution of the informer? One of those hon. Members, whose vote would, in all probability, be against the Bill, would be the first to deplore the attempt to enforce the Act of 1829 against the Christian Brothers. With these few and scanty illustrations, the House would be able to judge of the magnitude of the measure, and the enormity of the grievances under which the Roman Catholic community laboured— grievances of a practical kind upon the clergy of that faith, and casting upon the laity an insupportable stigma. He asked for nothing beyond this. It was no longer 725 a question as to the admission of Roman Catholic noblemen into the other House, and Roman Catholic commoners into this House. They had long ago recognised and satisfied those claims. They had received the Roman Catholic laity within the pale of their protection. Let the House place their clergy now upon that level to which they did not hesitate, in 1846, to raise the rabbis of the Jews. He implored the House not to deny them that small amount of protection. The last clause of the Religious Opinions Act placed the Jews, with respect to their schools, their places of worship, and their charitable institutions, under the same laws as the Protestant Dissenters. He asked no more for the Jesuits, the monks, and the Christian Brothers—he asked no more for the Roman Catholic clergy, still subjected to laws which had been repealed so far as they affected other portions of Her Majesty's subjects. He asked for Catholic equality in the eye of the law, not with all—though that was his right—not with the members of the Church of England, but with Protestant Dissenters and with Israelites.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
thought that every hon. Member who had listened to the enunciation of the objects contemplated by this Bill, could not fail to be impressed with the fact that the Bill was a measure which ought not to be entrusted to the hands of a private Member of that House, however able and however zealous he might be, and which ought to have been introduced by the Government, if introduced at all. He would pass over those which were, after all, disputed points among gentlemen of the legal profession—the hon. Member for York and the hon. Member for Midhurst taking different views of the matter: he alluded to the inoperative or operative character of the Acts which it was proposed to repeal. He would dismiss those points with the single remark, that if the Acts were inoperative, why should there exist, in certain quarters, such intense anxiety to repeal them? If, on the contrary, they were not inoperative, but declaratory of the common law, then should he like to know whether Her Majesty's Ministers were prepared to repeal them, with the avowed purpose of altering the common law? It would be absurd to pass the Bill then before the House, and not alter the common law. He wished particularly to draw the attention of the House to one thing. The hon. Gentleman the 726 Member for Youghal referred to the established jurisdiction of Rome in this kingdom; and the hon. Gentleman asserted that such jurisdiction had been acknowledged and established by the House of Lords in the Sussex case. He said, that the temporal as well as the spiritual authority of Rome was established in England by that decision—that the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland were vested with additional powers as legates—that as legates they were liable to instant dismissal—had more power than ordinary bishops, but were more completely under the authority of the Pope. He also added, that the negotiations now in progress at Rome would place the Roman Catholic hierarchy in this country, whom he declared to have temporal as well as spiritual authority, in the same position as the Irish Roman Catholic bishops. What experience had the House of the conduct of the Roman Catholic prelates, who, according to the hon. Gentleman's own showing, were more immediately under the control of the See of Rome? [Mr. ANSTEY: I did not say that the Irish bishops were more completely under the control of the Pope than other prelates of the Roman Catholic Church.] The hon. Gentleman had just told him that the Roman Catholic bishops of Ireland were not so much under the authority of the See of Rome as the Catholic bishops of England were. He must, therefore, have mistaken the meaning of the hon. Gentleman's former observations; but he would ask the hon. Gentleman by what law or rule, then, were the Irish Roman Catholic hierarchy governed? Were not the Roman Catholic bishops of Ireland guided by the canon law of the Catholic Church? He (Mr. Newdegate) did not expect that the hon. Member would deny that they were. The House would recollect that, during the recess, a correspondence had taken place between the noble Lord the Member for Arundel (the Earl of Surrey) and one of the highest of the Irish Prelates, with respect to the denunciations from the altar, and their sad consequences, in which some statements were made public as to the light in which the Irish Roman bishops regarded their functions under the canon law. He had read with sincere pleasure the letter written by the noble Lord. He had been told, that he had no feelings in common with the noble Lord; but he would unhesitatingly say a letter more creditable to the high char- 727 acter and high position of the noble Lord was never penned. In his mind the tone of the noble Lord's letter was too humble —more humble than as a Protestant he should wish to see adopted by any man in addressing his fellow-creature. What reply did the noble Lord receive to this mild, humble, yet manly communication? The noble Lord received an answer from the Irish prelate, Archbishop M'Hale, in tone most condescending, but plainly telling him that he ought not to judge in such matters; that it was neither for him nor for England to judge of such matters; and that it was not for any but the authorities of the Roman Church to judge whether the conduct of the prelates or clergy of that Church was proper or not, or whether those denunciations of persons from the altar were proper or otherwise. And what authority did the Archbishop of Tuam quote in defence of these denunciations? Why, that of Gregory VII., who deposed Henry IV.; and the collects in commemoration of whom, which were appointed to be read on his festivals, had been suppressed in Roman Catholic countries, so subversive were they of all loyalty and order in their tendency. Such was the authority boldly quoted in support of his peculiar views by the Archbishop of Tuam. If evidence were needed to prove that the Roman Catholic Church claimed exemption from the dictates of temporal power, it was necessary only to refer, to the justification of those denunciations by the Archbishop of Tuam. The question then occurred, "Was the conduct of the Roman Catholic Church — was the conduct of the regular orders throughout Europe, such as to recommend their establishment in this country?" Could it be denied that it was the conduct of the Jesuits in Switzerland that had caused the late civil war in that country? No; for the fact had been alleged by the Diet, and admitted by the Ministers of this country, of Austria, and of France. And if any one hon. Member was sceptical on that point, let him consult the correspondence that had been laid upon the table of that House with respect to the affairs of Switzerland. Measures such as that before the House, tending to the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church, and the acknowledgment of the temporal as well as the spiritual authority of the See of Rome— improper as they no doubt were, when introduced by a private Member, had appeared under most significant circumstances 728 —circumstances which when connected with the conduct of Her Majesty's Ministers at present, rendered it incumbent on the House to look narrowly into the manner in which a measure of this description was introduced. The presence of Lord Minto at Rome had excited great apprehension throughout this country; and questions had been put to the Government upon the nature of his authority and the character in which he appeared at Rome, and also as to the nature of the instructions he had received. It was natural that the country should be anxious to know what the Lord Privy Seal was doing at Rome. On the 10th of December last, the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford (Sir R. H. Inglis) questioned the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton (Lord Palmerston) upon the subject, and the reply given by the noble Lord was this:—It is well known that for some weeks past Lord Minto, who holds the office of Privy Seal, has been at Rome; but he is not there in any official capacity; he has no power and no instruction to negociate any convention whatever with the Court of Rome, to which court he is not in any way accredited. My hon. Friend will, therefore, see that the statement to which he alludes is entirely destitute of any foundation whatever. I need not say that so long as doubts can be entertained by any person as to the legality of diplomatic intercourse with the Court of Rome, Her Majesty's Government have too much respect for the law to do anything which could by possibility be considered as an infringement of it.Nothing could be more explicit than that answer. The noble Lord then proceeded to advert to the word "communion," and to solve the question whether it should be read as applicable to diplomatic relations:—I believe it is known to those who have looked into the subject that the doubt arises chiefly upon the construction of the word 'communion,' the law being that the Crown is not allowed to hold any communion with the Court of Rome. A doubt exists whether that word 'communion,' should be strictly interpreted as applicable to religious communion, or whether it would apply to diplomatic intercourse. I am not called upon to go into that question of construction; in my own opinion it is pretty clear; but until Parliament shall settle that doubt, I can assure my hon. Friend and the House, that no step will be taken by Her Majesty's Government which can by possibility be impugned as contravening the law.That answer was given on the 10th of December. But what was his (Mr. Newdegate's) surprise on reading the despatches of Her Majesty's Government, to find that Lord Minto had actually received formal instructions to enter into negotiations with the See of Rome, dated the 22nd of October last, and signed by the noble Lord 729 himself, as Secretary for Foreign Affairs. He (Mr. Newdegate) would not make such an assertion without informing the House of what his authority for making it was. But before doing so, he begged to direct the attention of Her Majesty's Government to the reply given yesterday by the noble Lord to the hon. Member for Ashton-under-Line (Mr. Hindley), who asked if there would be any objection to lay on the table the correspondence that had passed between the Government and Lord Minto? The noble Lord (Lord Palmerston) replied, "that Lord Minto had not been invested with any diplomatic character. He had obtained credentials to the Courts of Sardinia, Florence, and Naples, but he had no political character. He certainly was not prepared, therefore, to lay on the table any of the correspondence that had taken place." [Sir G. GREY begged to set the hon. Gentleman right. What his noble Friend (Lord Palmerston) had said was, that Lord Minto was not accredited to Rome; that he had no diplomatic character at Rome.] That was the expression he meant to comment upon—that Lord Minto had no diplomatic character at Rome. But whether he had or not, the House might judge of the real nature of his mission by consulting the despatches between the Government and the noble Lord relative to Switzerland during his sojourn there. In a despatch dated Turin, Oct. 4, 1847, the noble Lord wrote—On my way through Switzerland, although not then in possession of any credentials or instructions (which reached me afterwards), I was induced to make a circuit by Berne, where I might have an opportunity of communicating, though unofficially, with the President of the Diet; and Mr. Peel having obligingly made known to him my wish for an interview, I the next morning called upon M. Ochsenbein, by whom I was most cordially received. After referring to the great importance we attach to the independence and integrity of the Swiss Confederation, and the uneasiness with which we viewed the unhappy divisions now prevailing, and rapidly tending to a state of civil war and foreign intervention, I said I hoped it was not yet too late to find some means of accommodation. He professed his great desire to avoid all recourse to violence, so that the great objects for which they contended could be peaceably attained; and this, he assured me, should be his most earnest endeavour. But there were, he said, some points which admitted of no compromise; that the dissolution of the Sonderbund must be effected, even should force be required for that purpose; adding, however, that he believed that there was in several of the States of that unconstitutional league an indisposition to maintain it; and that it might probably fall to pieces, or be induced to dissolve itself. I asked 730 him if this did not in some degree turn upon the further question regarding the establishment of the Jesuits. He said, 'Yes; or rather, that every other question was involved in that of the Jesuits, and that the Jesuits once expelled, there would remain no object for the union of the Sonderbund, which would immediately be dissolved; and even in the Catholic States there was generally no great attachment to the order of Jesuits; but that by some the decree of the Diet was resented as an undue interference with their religious rights, and by others as a violation of cantonal independence.' On my pointing to the possible suppression of the Jesuits by Papal authority —'That,' he said, 'would be the most satisfactory solution of their difficulties, and would, except by a very small minority, be generally acquiesced in.' And in answer to my apprehensions of some violent resolution before there had been time for negotiation at Rome, he observed that no such precipitation was to be feared—that many of the deputies to the Diet had no instructions — that this alone would lead to delay, and must carry them well into November before any decision of the Diet could be obtained; and he added further the important assurance, that if any sufficient ground were shown to justify an expectation of the exercise of Papal authority for the expulsion of the Jesuits from Switzerland, he would prevent the recourse to any measures for enforcing the decrees of the Diet, or the adoption of any resolution on that subject.…. M. Ochsenbein's assurance, however, so explicitly given, may, I am satisfied, be relied upon, that anything like a fair prospect of the removal of the Jesuits would suffice to prevent the adoption of any measures calculated to endanger the peace of Switzerland; and the well-known opinions of Pius IX. may, I think, justify the hope of obtaining his intervention on this occasion.And Lord Palmerston wrote thus to Lord Minto under date October 22nd, from the Foreign Office:—With reference to your Lordship's despatch of the 4th instant, reporting what passed between your Lordship and M. Ochsonbein on the affairs of Switzerland, I have to inform your Lordship that Her Majesty's Government entirely approve the judicious and discreet language held by you in your communication with that gentleman; and I have to instruct your Lordship, when at Rome, to endeavour to persuade the Roman Government to recall the Jesuits from Switzerland, or at least to take some decided step with regard to them which may be calculated to lay the ground for an avoidance of civil war in Switzerland. Your Lordship's own judgment—and the knowledge which, in your passage through Switzerland, you have acquired of the state of affairs in that country, and of the public feeling of the parties into which the Swiss nation is divided — will furnish you with better arguments on this subject than any which Her Majesty's Government can suggest; but, of course, your Lordship will not omit to press strongly upon the consideration of the Papal Government, that an ecclesiastical Power like that of Rome must above all things desire to prevent war, and to preserve peace among all mankind; and that in the present case the Pope has it in his power, by an exercise of his unquestionable authority, to remove at once a cause which threatens to involve a hitherto peaceful 731 and happy nation in all the miseries and crimes of civil conflict.And yet the House had been assured by the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs on the 10th December, that Lord Minto had no instructions to negotiate with, and that he was not accredited to, the Court of Rome. The House ought really to be allowed a deeper insight into the matter. He had been quoting from pages of the correspondence 188 and 189, despatch No. 139. No. 186 of the same despatches was a letter from Lord Minto to Lord Palmerston, dated at Rome, November 13, 1847:—I hare to acknowledge the receipt of your Lordship's despatch of the 22nd of October, approving of the language held by me to M. Ochsenbein in my passage through Switzerland, and directing me to urge the Papal Government to take steps for the removal of the Jesuits from that country. I have already had some conversation upon that subject with the Cardinal Secretary of State, whom I found not altogether averse, to a certain extent, to the interposition of the Papal authority, if by such means a conflict might be prevented in Switzerland. If the question rested entirely on the establishment of the Jesuits in Lucerne, I think that the assistance of the Pope might be obtained for their removal; but I have not been able to state that anything short of the expulsion of that society from every part of Switzerland would satisfy the demands of the Diet. This the Pope is not prepared to require, and he is unwilling to give gratuitous offence to the Catholic canton of Lucerne by a partial interference there, from which no benefit might accrue. His advice is all that he has yet given on that subject; and it has, I fear, been given to those who are unlikely to listen to anything short of a command. If it be not too late, and Switzerland be not already the scene of war, I shall continue to press for the interposition of the Pope's authority, at least with regard to Lucerne.He (Mr. Newdegate) could not help saying that it was at least most remarkable that the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, when in possession of the fact that he had commanded and instructed Lord Minto to negotiate with the Papal power, should, on the 10th December, have got up in that House and denied that the noble Lord was there in any official capacity. A quibble might be raised as to the using of any particular term which might have been used with respect to the formality of Lord Minto's instructions or credentials; but let hon. Members read those despatches and instructions, and they would see that, owing to Lord Minto's position as a Minister of this country, he was fully accredited as soon as he presented that letter of instructions at Rome. It roused his indignation to find, after all that he had just read, that a private Member of the House should 732 bring in such a Bill as that before them, tending to the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church; and next, that a Member of the Administration should attempt to mislead the House with respect to the negotiations illegally carried on by a high officer, one of their own Colleagues, with the Court of Rome. ["Hear, hear!"] But the Bill was no light matter. He agreed with his hon. Friend (Mr. Walpole) that complaints of disabilities, which injured no one, and the prayers that facilities should be given for bestowing property for the purposes of charity, were put forth as an appeal ad misericordiam for the mere purpose of concealing the intention of establishing the Roman Catholic Church. Let them consider the conduct of the Roman Catholic Church in other countries. Was it not aggresive everywhere? The noble Lord the Earl of Arundel and Surrey said he would not give twopence for a Church that was not aggressive. [The Earl of ARUNDEL and SURREY: Aggressive against error.] Were they to tamper with national interests?— were they to give fresh powers for the establishment of a Church which declared them to be in error? He wished to know what "error" meant in the mouth of the noble Lord or any other sincere Roman Catholic? "Error" meant the Church of England. It meant the English constitution. Why, the Sovereign was not entitled to Her Throne except by adherence to what the Roman Catholic Church called "error." If that was an error, it was one which he trusted the country would long maintain. Who were the prime agents of the mischief in Switzerland? The Jesuits. What had led to the overthrow of the Jesuits of Lucerne? In 1844 they succeeded in getting a Franciscan monastery suppressed; and its revenues, buildings, establishments, at the suggestion of the Pope, were transferred to the care, the zeal, and the experience of the order of the Jesuits. It was no wonder the Pope was unwilling to remove the Jesuits from Switzerland, for it was the Pope who had planted them there himself. In a letter from Mr. Morier to Lord Aberdeen, dated at Berne, February 29, 1844, the discussions relating to the proposed submission of the national education to the authorised direction of the Jesuits were alluded to. Mr. Morier wrote—The question with respect to the admission of the Jesuits into the canton of Lucerne, as the authorised directors of the national education, came 733 on for discussion last week in the grand council, on the proposal of a law for reorganisation of the higher schools of the canton, made by the Commission whose appointment was alluded to in my despatch of January 31, to your Lordship. After a debate of two days the grand council adopted a resolution by which 'the council of education, under the direction of the executive council, is charged, in unison with the bishop, to negotiate with the Society of Jesus the groundwork of an agreement for delivering over to the latter the direction of the theological studies in the Lyceum and of the ecclesiastical seminary which it is proposed to establish at Lucerne;' one of the conditions being, 'that the Society shall submit to the constitution of the State in all its provisions, and especially to that article which attributes to the council of education, under the superintendence of the executive, the inspection and direction of the public education, as well as the duty of preliminary deliberation on everything which concerns the relations between the State and the Church.'And this offer, on account of the supervision insisted upon by the State, the Jesuits refused. Yet that was esteemed a triumph on the part of Rome, and a proof of its extended dominion, as might be seen by referring to another letter from Mr. Morier, dated November 25, 1844, in which he stated—The triumph of the Ultramontane party on this occasion is, with reason, generally considered as an important event for the Confederation, marking the steady growth of that powerful system of spiritual domination exercised by the Papal See, which but a few years ago the Swiss Radicals were treating with contempt, and thought to put down by abuse and violence. They have fallen into the same mistake with regard to the Roman population of Lucerne and the Valais, which the patrons of Strauss in Zurich made with respect to the Protestant population of that canton five years ago. They took no account of the religious feelings of the people; and the people in both cases resented the mistake by rising against them and driving them from power. That event was also accelerated by the issue of the late struggle in the Valais, which gave to the Ultramontane party there a decided preponderance, and with it proportionate encouragement to their associates in Lucerne to make the attempt which, according to present appearances, promises to be crowned with complete success. An act of the late Government of Lucerne furnished a convenient opportunity for taking the preliminary steps which led to the renewal of the negotiations with the Jesuits by the present rulers. Among other measures viewed as hostile to the interests of the Church, that Government had suppressed the Franciscan convent existing in the town of Lucerne. The present Government, strenuously as they have contended for the unconditional restoration of the Argovian convents to their original use, did not think it necessary to do so in respect to this convent in their own territory. They chose a middle course—they applied to Rome, representing the inconvenience and difficulty of re-establishing the Franciscan monks, and humbly proposed, if the Pope would sanction the suppression of their convent — now a deed 734 done—to devote its buildings and revenues to the erection of a school of theology and an ecclesiastical seminary. The Pope, at the same time that he signified through the Nuncio his consent to the proposal (perhaps originally suggested from Rome), expressed the great satisfaction it would give him 'if the direction of the seminary, both as to instruction and internal discipline, were confided to the zeal and intelligence of the Society of Jesus.'Against the will of the people the Jesuits were introduced—against the will of the people education was entrusted to their care. But the Government overlooked the strong religious feelings of the country; and what was the consequence? That Catholics united with Protestants to cast off the yoke that had been imposed upon them by the collusion of the Government with the Jesuits. And he (Mr. Newdegate) warned Her Majesty's Government not to trifle with the Protestant feelings of the English people. They might establish the Jesuits—that order which was styled by Rome her "most useful order;" but he told them the feelings of this country would rise up against them. The evil too would not pass away with a change of the Ministry, but would be likely to sow the seeds of disorder which would infect the whole body of society, and bear fruits as hitter as Switzerland had tasted. They should remember that those who had expelled the Jesuits from Switzerland were not all Protestants. The Catholic cantons of Soleure, of St. Gall, and of Tessin—the first entirely, the second nine-tenths, and the last two-thirds Catholic — had found the grievance so intolerable, the labours of the Jesuits so unprofitable for their religion, the spiritual yoke they imposed so grievous, that they joined the Protestants in effecting their expulsion. Did the noble Lord want more evidence? He referred him to a letter which had appeared in the newspapers, which was otherwise fully corroborated, stating that so intolerable was the oppression of the Jesuits, that the young men of Genoa had bound themselves not to marry any woman who had a Jesuit for a confessor, or whose parents held communion with that order; and he appealed to the noble Lord (the Earl of Arundel and Surrey) whether the conduct of these Roman Catholics might not have weight with him in inducing him to pause before he claimed the establishment in this country of an order by voting for this Bill. Were they to cast aside the whole history of the order for hundreds of years? The hon. Member for the University of Oxford had stated some striking facts bearing on this 735 point. He (Mr. Newdegate) had found that between the years 1555 and 1773 they had been thirty-seven times expelled from different States where they had established themselves. Since that year they had been again expelled from France, and during the last twelve months they had been expelled from Switzerland, so adverse were their doctrines and practice to liberty, to peace, to social order. And this reminded him of what had been said by the hon. Member for Youghal with regard to them. The hon. Member made a great appeal to the feeling of the House in favour of these orders of the Roman Church, and particularly in favour of the Christian Brothers. He (Mr. Newdegate) did not deny but that among the Jesuits there were many excellent men; but of this he was certain, that they were made the instruments of evil purposes— that they were made the instruments of a tyranny more galling than could be established by any except spiritual means. He held in his hand a list of the establishments of Friburg, as connected with and affiliated to the Jesuits, including the Christian Brothers, that had been suppressed, as returned by the authorities to the Diet. He (Mr. Newdegate) would, with the permission of the House, read an extract describing the number of suppressed establishments of the various orders:—
§ (INCLOSURE 2 IN No. 198.)
§ "Decree issued by the Government of Friburg, banishing the Jesuits.
§ "Le Gouvernement Provisoire du Canton de Fribourg:—
§ "S'étant convaincu quo la réunion du Canton de Fribourg a la ligne anti-nationale du Sonder-bund était l'œuvre des Jésuites et de leur affiliés;
§ "S'appuyant sur la décision de la Diėte du 3 Septembre, 1847, qui déclare I'Ordre des Jésuites en Suisse comme incompatible avec la paix et la tranquillité de la Suisse;
§ "Désirant donner aux autorités civiles la force nécessaire pour arriver a une pacification assurée du canton;
§ "En vertu des pouvoirs étendus qu'il a obtenus le 15 Septembre de la reunion du peuple;
§ "I°. Les Jésuites, les corporations, les congrégations, et les affiliations pour l'instruction publique, sont pour toujours renyoyées du Canton de Fribourg.
§ "2°. La mesure ci dessus atteint—
- a. Les Jésuites.
- b. Les Ligoriens.
- c. Les Frères de Mario (Ignorantins).
- d. Les Frères de l'Ecole Chrétienne.
- e. Les Sœurs de St. Joseph.
- f. Les Sœurs de St. Vincent de Paul.
- g. Les Sœurs du Sacré Cœur.
§ "3°. Les corporations et societés ei-dessus ne peuvent sous aucun prétexte être rétablis dans le 736 canton, acquérir des propriétés on former des établissemens particuliers de l'instruction publique.
§ "7°. Le décret ci-dessus est obligatoire du moment de sa promulgation, et il doit être publié et afflché comme de droit.
§ (Signé) "Le President,
§ "Le Chancelier,
§ DEUR. BERCHTOLD."
§ There never was a time, he thought, when the House was more bound to refrain from giving encouragement to Roman Catholic domination. Had the House, he would ask, noticed the tone and character of the reply of the Archbishop of Tuam to the Earl of Shrewsbury? What was Lord Shrewsbury's appeal, by which this reply had been elicited? His appeal was for the intervention of ecclesiastical power with ecclesiastics, as preferable to any other mode of dealing with them; and yet for this there was poured forth upon the noble Lord such a torrent of abuse, of vituperation, and of base insinuation, from that arrogant ecclesiastic, in answer to his respectful and patriotic appeal, as could scarcely have been excelled. Were the noblest of this country to be treated in that manner by those haughty prelates whenever they attempted to serve their country? He would ask the Protestant patriots of England, when this was the manner in which those prelates behaved towards their friends, what was likely to be their pity and compassion for their enemies, or of those whom they considered to be their enemies — those whom they looked upon as the slaves of error, without a hope as to eternity, perverted and misguided in this world? He asked whether, looking to the history of Europe in the present day, considering the manner in which the measure had been introduced to the House, and considering the very ambiguous position of Her Majesty's Government with respect to their conduct in instructing one of their own body to negotiate with the Court of Rome contrary to law; taking all these considerations into account, he asked, was there ever a time when the House of Commons was more imperatively called upon to vindicate its independence, and to perform its duty to the country, than it now was? He would not further trouble the House, but he could not allow the debate to pass over without referring to those general circumstances. It was all very well to discuss nice legal distinctions—to set the opinion of one legal Gentleman against another with reference to Acts 737 which, whether operative or not, were at all events not now oppressive. It would scarcely be said that the Roman Catholics suffered oppression, while they displayed that boasted increase which the hon. Member for Youghal had exhibited to the House; and were these grievances, which the hon. Member said might happen, but which never do happen — were they to be taken as the grounds for the establishment of the permanent, the oppressive, the foreign Power of the See of Rome within these realms?
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
The present debate is so much in the nature of an adjourned debate on the second reading of the Bill, that, having troubled the House with a statement of my views upon it on the second reading two months ago, and having then explained how far I agreed in the principle of the Bill, I feel it to be quite unnecessary to detain the House on the present occasion with a repetition of what I then took the liberty of addressing to it. I will only say, that I think one of the arguments of the hon. Gentleman who has just addressed the House in opposition to the Bill, ought to be altogether disregarded. He says that the Bill ought not to pass, because Archbishop M'Hale has used violent and intemperate language, and has set up extravagant ecclesiastical pretensions; and that he is unwilling that the Protestants of England should be handed over to such parties, and that this is therefore not the time when additional privileges ought to be given to Roman Catholics. I say, if that argument is to be taken into account, let us take the letter of Lord Shrewsbury, and the letter of my noble Friend behind me (the Earl of Arundel and Surrey) into consideration on the other side. If the arguments to be drawn from Archbishop M'Hale's sentiments and speeches are to prevail in this House, I have an equal right to draw attention to the letters of Lord Shrewsbury, and of my noble Friend which almost every one has commended, as showing that this is a period when we may trust Roman Catholics with powers which they never before possessed. [Cheers.] But I do not use this as an argument. I think that the ephemeral productions of the day or the passing controversies of our time ought not to influence us in our decisions here; but after the cheers with which that part of the hon. Gentleman's speech was received on the opposite side of the House, I thought it should not altogether be pass- 738 ed over without notice. I rose principally in consequence of the reference which the hon. Gentleman made to a subject which, I must say, has very little to do with the question before the House. I allude to the remarks of the hon. Gentleman with regard to the correspondence that has been laid on the table of the House on the subject of the affairs of Switzerland. I understood the hon. Gentleman to say that this is not a period when a Bill should be allowed to pass the House, because my noble Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs made a statement in December last which he thinks has not been borne out by the contents of the papers laid before the House, relating to the communications of Lord Minto with the Court of Rome. The hon. Member says that my noble Friend declared to the House that Lord Minto was not accredited to the Court of Rome by Her Majesty's Government; whereas, by the papers laid before the House, he found that Lord Minto was instructed to communicate with the Papal Government. The hon. Gentleman read a letter from my noble Friend to Lord Minto, conveying to him these instructions —if instructions be the term to apply to them. That letter was addressed by my noble Friend to Lord Minto, not for the purpose of accrediting him to the Court of Rome; but, as he had been in communication with the President of the Diet of Switzerland, with respect to the causes which led to a continuation of the disorders and disunion among the cantons of Switzerland, and as he was about to proceed to Rome, Lord Minto was instructed to take an opportunity of personally communicating on the subject with the members of the Papal Government, in order to remove the cause of those disorders. The hon. Gentleman supposes that it is an offence at common law for a Member of the British Cabinet to hold a conversation with a Papal Secretary of State. The hon. Gentleman's argument might hold good if Lord Minto had been instructed to do what he could not have done without specific instructions—formally to represent to the Papal Government the opinions of the British Government on the political state of Switzerland. But what does Lord Minto say? After describing the interview with M. Ochsenbein, as given in his despatch, No. 134, in which he mentions expressly that he had not then received credentials or instructions from my noble Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs on 739 the subject of his mission, he proceeds in the despatch, No. 135, written from Turin, to say—I had a few days ago a good deal of conversation on Swiss affairs with M. Corboli Bussi, who, as Mr. Abercromby has already informed your Lordship, is here on a mission from Rome, and through whom I thought it might be useful that I should convey to the Pope our hope of his good offices towards the pacification of Switzerland, by the recall of the Jesuits from that country. I told him that the question of peace or war in the Confederation was probably in the hands of his Holiness, and that I therefore trusted he would not allow any light considerations to stand in the way of his intervention. That at Rome, as elsewhere, I was sure that it must be felt that this was not a moment in which any interruption of peace could be seen without uneasiness; and that civil war and foreign intervention in Switzerland, with all their consequences, might possibly extend their influence beyond the Alps.It is clear from this letter that Lord Minto did not consider any formal or specific instructions necessary to authorise him to hold such communications. This took place in a private and unofficial way between Lord Minto and the representative of the Pope, at Turin: and in the same way Lord Minto was requested, when at Rome, to converse with any members of the Papal Government he might meet there, and impress upon them the views of the British Government with regard to Swiss affairs. I do not understand the hon. Gentleman to object to these views. Lord Minto was instructed—"not to omit to press strongly upon the consideration of the Papal Government that an ecclesiastical power like that of Rome must above all things desire to prevent war, and to preserve peace among all mankind; and that in the present case the Pope has it in his power, by an exercise of his unquestionable authority, to remove at once a cause which threatens to involve a hitherto peaceful and happy nation in all the miseries and crimes of civil conflict.In reference to this subject, Lord Minto writes in reply.I have already had some conversation upon that subject with the Cardinal Secretary of State, whom I found not altogether averse, to a certain extent, to the interposition of the Papal authority, if by such means a conflict might be prevented in Switzerland.The construction that the hon. Gentleman places on the law, that no British subject, that no Member of the British Government, is to converse on political subjects with a Cardinal Secretary of the See of Rome, even when such conversation tends to promote the peace of Europe, is manifestly unfounded and extravagant. The hon. Gentleman says, my noble Friend at- 740 tempted to deceive the House, but he has himself given sufficient grounds for disproving the charge by actually reading from the correspondence laid upon the table by my noble Friend, a full and unreserved statement of what Lord Minto had been directed to do. [Mr. NEWDEGATE begged to explain. On the 10th of December Lord Palmerston distinctly stated to the House that Lord Minto had no instructions to treat with the Court of Rome, whereas he found now, by the papers submitted to the House, that long previously to the 10th of December the noble Lord had, in his own words, given such instructions to Lord Minto.] The hon. Gentleman quotes the word "instructions," as used by my noble Friend on the 10th of December. My memory is certainly not so correct as to enable me at this distance of time to remember the precise term used; but I think what my noble Friend said, in answer to the hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford (Sir R. H. Inglis), was, that Lord Minto was not accredited to the Court of Rome—that he had no "instructions" in the ordinary sense of the term when applied to a person accredited to a foreign Court—implying that Lord Minto was not an ambassador at the Court of Rome, and had no credentials to show that he was empowered to act as an ambassador from the British Government. That was the extent and purport of the answer of my noble Friend, as I understood it. In using the word "instruction" in the despatch referred to, my noble Friend must have meant it as a direction to communicate the views of the Government unofficially, to the Members of the Papal Government; and I cannot but think it is something like a quibble to attempt to fix a charge—I will not say of duplicity, but—of an intention to deceive the House, upon my noble Friend, for using the word in the two different senses to which I have adverted. But I repeat what I was saying when the hon. Gentleman interrupted me, that the evidence on which he founds his charge has been furnished by my noble Friend himself, so that if my noble Friend intended to deceive the House, he has defeated his object by laying on the table of the House the actual instructions and conversations that have passed. I must say, therefore, that I do not think it is likely that the House will concur in the view which the hon. Gentleman supposes he has made out, or will be disposed to censure the 741 British Government far holding communications with the Court of Rome, through the medium of Lord Minto during his visit to Rome, when the object was to induce the Papal Government, by friendly representations, to take that course which is test calculated to "to prevent war, and to preserve peace among all mankind," by re-moving a cause "which threatens to involve a hitherto peaceful and happy nation in all the miseries and crimes of civil conflict." If the hon. Gentleman had ever been in office, he would not be so sensitive on the subject, for he would have known that friendly and private conversation of this kind must have frequently taken place, and that in fact it would be impossible to carry on the affairs of a country like this without those communications with the Roman Government to which he objects; and that Lord Minto has done nothing more in this instance than has been done many times before by influential persons visiting Rome. No one ever thought that in doing so the law was infringed; and I believe that Her Majesty's Government will be held equally free in this respect from the reproach which the hon. Gentleman has attempted to cast upon them.
§ COLONEL CONOLLY
should object to any disturbance of the arrangement which had been come to at the time of the passing of Catholic Emancipation, and which had then met the demands and views of the Roman Catholics themselves. He could not allow obsolete Acts of Parliament to be raked up into a grievance, for the purpose of removing securities that had been assented to by the Roman Catholics themselves at the time of Emancipation; and he also objected to the measure because it would tend to endanger the public peace, by disturbing the public mind at this moment. He should vote against the further progress of the Bill, not from animosity or antipathy towards his Roman Catholic fellow-subjects, but from a clear conviction of the necessity for preserving the safeguards of Protestant security.
§ MR. GLADSTONE
Sir, I feel the force, upon general grounds, of those references which have been made to the aggressive and very active character of the Roman Catholic Church; but at the same time I feel still more the force of that sentiment which I think commends itself to our calm reflection, that if there be upon the Statute-book at this moment in legal, although not in practical existence, penal- 742 ties attaching, or capable of attaching, to Roman Catholics for doing acts not proved to be hostile to our civil interests, and which belong to the religion they profess, I think, if that be so, we are bound to go into Committee. It is with great satisfaction I have just seen the hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General resume his place, because I think the House is placed in considerable difficulty with regard to the legal elements of the question upon which so much of the merits of the case really and substantially depend. It will be in the recollection of the House that there are two distinct and opposite views taken of the whole of the former part of the Bill, both propounded by legal authority—upon the one hand by the advocates of the Bill, and upon the other by its opponents; and I am sure the Attorney General will confer upon us very great service if he will interfere as umpire or as arbitrator, or at least as an impartial and of course weighty authority in the case, and will give us the view he entertains with regard to the legal position of the ancient statutes that are recited in the earlier portions of this Bill. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Midhurst (Mr. Walpole) contended the other day, and my hon. and learned Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge contends today, that the Act of the 1st of Elizabeth (I think he did not argue the case of the other Acts in detail) and the other ancient statutes mentioned in this Bill, have been repealed as far as respects penalties. Both those hon. and learned Gentlemen held that opinion, in terms, I think, the most unqualified. But the Mover of the Bill, himself a lawyer, distinctly demurs to that doctrine. With regard to the Act 1st Elizabeth, he tells us it is perfectly true that the specific penalties which were formerly provided by that Act, as applicable to any infringement of the doctrine of the Royal supremacy, have been removed; but he contends that statutory penalties still remain. He contends that the force of the statutory prohibitions are still a portion of the law, and that such being the case, the courts of justice will provide penalties for the offence of any infringement of an Act of Parliament. Then he very naturally proceeds—I mean in his own sense, of course, for it would be presumptous in me to offer any opinions upon the validity of his doctrines—to make a case which is at least worthy of investigation; for he says that his Bill will remove all statutory 743 penalties. He contends that the common law, if it were not for the addition of this statute, or if it were removed, would not make punishable any act which. Roman Catholics are bound to do, or any opinion they are bound to hold. If this be the case, is it enough to say, that these penalties have never been enforced? Are we not bound rather, by the spirit of Lord Lyndhurst's Act, to go somewhat further? If it he true that the Act of Lord Lyndhurst, while it abolished specific penalties, has left others still remaining, are we not bound to remove those penalties attaching to the assertion of the Papal supremacy which every Roman Catholic is bound to acknowledge? Then as regards the Act relating to bulls, I confess I was in error according to the statements of the hon. and learned Gentleman upon a former occasion. I then laboured under the same difficulty as that which we are feeling now, namely, the want of guidance and authority upon the question. But if it be true that it is at this moment penal to introduce into this country any bull whatever from the See of Rome, I do not think it is consistent with fairness and justice, nor consistent with common sense, that such a state of the law should be allowed to continue. Why, it is notorious to all men that the intervention of the Pope in British affairs has been sought and obtained upon particular occasions by the British Government. I do not know what the precise name of the instrument by which that intervention of the Pope has been conveyed into Ireland may be; I do not know whether it were what is called a bull, or rescript, or anything else; but I don't think it is right that while we ourselves occasionally invoke the aid of the Pope for the conduct of our civil affairs, we should have a law upon our Statute-book which makes it penal to introduce into this country, not only those bulls which were properly prohibited, and which were an offence at the time of the Reformation, but those which, innocent of all offence, are directly and exclusively connected with Roman Catholic discipline and worship. It appears to me, therefore, it is not quite true to say that the sole object of this Bill is the modification of the Act of 1829. It may be true that that is the most important portion of the enactments the hon. and learned Gentleman has embodied in his Bill; but I think we are not obliged to impute to him the somewhat unworthy motive of seeking, in effect, exclusively a modification of the 744 Act of 1829, and of having introduced into this Bill a long string of Acts of Parliament by way of blind and cover for his real object. But if we come to the Act of 1829, I shall assume there we are not prepared to be guided exclusively by the prescriptive title of that Act—that we ought not to argue absolutely upon its nature as a compact, because compact is a doctrine that, in practice, is liable to great modifications as available against all reasoning in the case. I will only refer to the most important part of the Bill which touches the Act of 1829, namely, that which relates to the religious orders. We must all feel, without consideration, that in reference to the exclusion of the religious orders the onus of proof lies with those who maintain the demand for their exclusion. Whether it he true that the Act of 1829 was a compact or not—whether it be true that that exclusion of religious orders was looked upon as one of the securities to the Protestant Church or not—I think we must feel we are bound to show, while insisting upon that security, that it has a real value to us, when it is alleged upon the other hand that it inflicts a real burden and grievance upon our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects. I ask, then, has that security a real value to us, or has the burden of proof which is upon us—has the obligation to show a case against the religious orders universally— been properly and adequately discharged in this debate? Why, Sir, not one word has been said in the course of this debate, or during the former discussion, that I have heard, excepting against the Jesuits. I omit for the present their case; but supposing all to be true that has been said against them, and supposing it to be doubtful (and I admit I think it is doubtful) whether you ought to alter the law against the Jesuits, is it just to inflict a legal stigma upon the Benedictines, the Franciscans, the Dominicans, and upon all the other regular clergy of the Roman Catholic Church, because a particular order of the Roman Catholics may be regarded as holding principles which are not, I think, very consistent with the obligations of civil obedience? If that be the case, I really think hon. Gentlemen who maintain that opinion must feel they are bound to show something, not against the Jesuits only, but against religious orders in general. There may have been a time when the name of a religious order might be taken as indicating a close connexion between that religious order and the See of 745 Rome. I suppose it to be admitted as a fact, that those religious orders—at least at the time of the thirteenth century-were generally founded with a view to the augmentation and consolidation of the power of the See of Rome; but whatever was their original intention, it does not follow that at this moment the Franciscan or the Dominician stands in a closer relation to the Pope, or in any respect is likely to hold opinions which render him in any degree more dangerous to civil order, than the secular priest or layman of the Church of Home. Great changes took place in the course of generations with regard to the position of these orders. I admit the Jesuits held for themselves a special position in the See of Rome. My learned Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Law) paid me a compliment which I am by no means anxious to appropriate to myself, when he said I had drawn an ingenious distinction between the Jesuits and the other religious orders of the Roman Catholic Church. That distinction has not been drawn by me, but by the history of the world. The history of the Jesuits, the place they have filled in the history of the world for the last three centuries, has no parallel in the history of any other religious order. The transactions in France particularly, during nearly the whole of the last century, with regard to the Jesuits cannot be matched. Not only can they not be matched, but there will not be found the remotest analogy to them in the history of any other religious order, in any age or in any country in the world. It is not for me to say what is the precise course it may be proper to take with regard to the Jesuits in our own country—whether you may think it worth while to draw a distinction between them and other religious orders, or whether you will not—it is enough for me at present, I think, with a view to your leaving the chair, Sir, to stand upon this proposition, that the burden of proof lies with those who contend for retaining upon the Statute-book provisions for the extinction of the religious orders, that no primâ facie case, however slender, has been shown in this debate, or in the former debate upon this Bill, against the religious orders whatever, except against the order of Jesuits; and therefore, at all events, with a view to those religious orders, other than Jesuits, you are bound to enter into Committee upon this Bill, with the view of affording them such relief as you may think proper. I shall not re- 746 fer to the other particulars in-which this Bill proposes to interfere with the Act of 1829; but I have been surprised, I must own, at the nature of the argument maintained by my hon. Friend the Member for Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate) and other Gentlemen in opposing this Bill, when they refer to these exclusions as constituting the securities of the Act of 1829. I have been surprised to see the total absence, upon their part, of any attempt to show that any value attaches to those securities. It is not evident at once—to my mind at least—what connexion there is, not between the real extinction of the religious orders—for that is not the question —but between the existence of that clause in the Act of 1829, which inflicts a stigma upon religious orders, and does nothing else whatever, and a stigma upon a particular portion of the Roman Catholic Church, and the securities of the Established Church and the other institutions of this country. I do not absolutely deny that my hon. Friend and others may have seen such connexion, because I presume they have; but I would put it to them that they ought to endeavour to make that connexion evident to us; that it is not enough to say simply, "This was enacted in 1829, therefore, whether it be just or unjust—whether there was a necessity for it or not—and whether the necessity, if there was one, still continues, I do not know; but I will adhere to it as part and parcel of the Act of 1829." A dry argument from the letter of an Act of Parliament ought not to be urged upon one side of a case against a real and practical grievance, such as undoubtedly exists, unless we can show positive cause for the exclusion of these religious orders. There is one other point to which much reference has been made in this debate, and which I think has excited a great degree of interest, and which, though not altogether unconnected with, may eventually have a very direct connexion with a portion of the subject-matter of this Bill. It has been stated before, and repeated to-day, that it is the intention of the Pope to erect archbishoprics and bishoprics in England, for the first time since the Reformation. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Youghal informed us that the reports upon that subject were premature—that no decision had been come to by the See of Rome upon that question—that it had received great consideration, and was found to be encompassed with many difficulties. 747 I confess I received with great satisfaction the assurance that no such decision had been arrived at by the See of Rome; and I trust the question will undergo much more consideration before the course which has been announced shall be adopted by the Pope. I cannot think it is enough to say upon this subject, that the Pope might appoint an archbishop—of Westminster, for example—in the same sense as the Wesleyan body appoints superintendents of its circuits. When the Wesleyan body appoints a superintendent of a circuit, it is perfectly well understood that neither civilly nor spiritually does the Wesleyan body, by its act, make any assertion whatever of the obligations of all persons within those circuits to conform themselves to its rules and principles, and to render obedience to those superintendents. With regard to the establishment of archbishoprics and bishoprics by the Papal authority in this country, I apprehend it to be quite unquestioned that the establishment of an archbishopric of Westminster, or any other place, is a most distinct and formal assertion upon the part of the Church of Rome of the obligation of all persons residing within the limits of that district, whatever it may be, to pay spiritual obedience and own spiritual allegiance to the See of Rome. That, in the mind of some Gentlemen, may not appear to be very objectionable. To me, I confess, it does appear open to objection. I think it establishes somewhat of a false and unnatural relation between the Papal Court and ourselves—between the Pope as a temporal Power and the British Government. I do think it is calculated to bring both into a false position, particularly now that we are attempting to establish diplomatic relations with the See of Rome. But the hon. and learned Gentleman placed this measure entirely upon the ground of considerations of utility. He said the change from the character of vicars-apostolic to that of diocesans was for the purposes of utility—that it was found necessary and thought desirable to give more of a permanent and independent position to the bishops than they could have as mere vicars-general. But I apprehend I am right in saying that, though not prepared to quote an instance that there is no necessity upon that account to establish local archbishoprics or bishoprics, there have been mixed jurisdictions in various places, and that there would be no difficulty, nay, it in point of fact might be politic, for the Church of Rome to establish jurisdictions 748 which shall be permanent, and which shall not advance, nor have the power to advance, a claim to temporal jurisdiction. I think, as to the claim of temporal jurisdiction over all persons, if it be intended, the resolution so intending was neither a wise resolution on the part of the Court of Rome with regard to the present state of the public mind, nor with regard to any state that the public mind is likely to be in for generations to come. Trusting that that may be the case, I would point out (and it is in connexion with this Bill), that the Act of 1829, in the 28th Clause, refers to this question of the assumption of the titles of British bishoprics by Roman Catholic prelates. I apprehend that not only the assumption of the title of any existing bishopric, but the assumption of a title where there is not now a bishopric, but where there may be at some future time, constitutes an offence under this clause. That is to say, if the Pope chooses to establish an archbishopric in Westminster or any other place, out of deference to the law he may not assert his spiritual supremacy; but he may be in this painful position, that if at any time it may please Her Majesty or the Legislature to sanction the erection of a bishopric of Westminster or any other place, the Act of George IV., I apprehend, renders penal the assumption of such titles in any case where the establishment of a Roman Catholic archbishopric or bishopric interferes with an established bishopric of the Church, or one intended to be established. The clause stands thus—Any person, other than the person thereunto authorised by law, who shall assume the name, style, or title of archbishop of any province, bishop of any bishopric, or dean of any deanery in England or Ireland, shall, for every offence, forfeit 100l.I am perfectly aware, of course, that there is an alleged parallelism between this case and that of Ireland; and that in the case of Ireland, certain prelates of the Roman Catholic Church have assumed and borne titles of the dioceses of the established Church without legal notice being taken of their acts. Without raising the question whether such notice should be taken, I cannot think the case of Ireland is parallel, from some essential considerations. In the case of Ireland, diocesan bishops have been established since the reign of Elizabeth. We know they claim succession to the ancient sees of that country, and we must feel their assumption of titles, 749 which they considered to have descended to them traditionally, as very different from setting up new claims in England at this time—in a country where they form an extremely small fraction of the population, and where the claim to new titles, we think, belongs with so much more propriety to the prelates of the National Church. With regard to the Bill itself and its direct enactments, I trust hon. Gentlemen will put some check upon themselves, natural and honourable as their feelings must be, and seriously ask themselves, not whether the Church of Rome is an aggressive Church—not whether upon general grounds there are not great reasons for apprehension at her spiritual claims and ecclesiastical proceedings, but whether in the law as it stands there is a case which in equity and indeed may be made a case of grievance—that, in the feelings and minds of honourable Gentlemen, may appear to imply something of disgrace? If that be so, they will not allow themselves to be diverted by considerations—which, however important, are scarcely relevant to this matter—from doing that justice which their fellow-subjects and fellow-citizens have a right to demand, and which, they may depend upon it, it is as much their interest as their duty to concede.
The MARQUESS of GRANBY
said: Sir, I am anxious to state the grounds on which I feel myself compelled to give my decided opposition to this measure. With regard to the first part of the Bill, I think it has been generally admitted, by its advocates, that it is not so much upon the repeal of statutes that are admitted to be obsolete that they rest their case. I must be allowed to say that I do not think, if all those penalties are removed from our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects with regard to the Statutes we propose to repeal, that this in a Protestant country is any reason why the statutes themselves should be repealed. With regard to the second part of the question, whether or not we should retain the safeguards which accompanied the measure of 1829, I think it would be most unwise now to unsettle them. I agree with my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Midhurst (Mr. Walpole), that, unless some great and practical grievance can be shown for the re-opening of this great question, that the House will not sanction any such disturbance of the settlement of 1829. Sir, I have heard no practical grievance stated in the course of this debate. It is true that the hon. and 750 learned Gentleman who brought in this Bill stated that there was one practical grievance to be found in Leicestershire, in which county is established the monastery of Mount St. Bernard; and that the monks of that establishment complain that they are liable to be transported from this country because they form a monastic institution. But, Sir, I have inquired of those who I think ought to know something of the law of this question, and I am told that if the monks will register their names according to the laws of this country, and if they remain, as I am anxious to bear my testimony that they now are, the quiet, peaceable, and loyal subjects of Her Majesty, that they will not be liable to transportation. That is an answer, I think, to the practical grievance of the hon. Member of Youghal, and an answer, I think also, to the speech of the hon. Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. Gladstone). I confess I have been much surprised at the elaborate arguments we heard in favour of allowing the Jesuits to remain in this country without registering their names, and without any precautions being taken against their machinations. Do those who advocate their admission remember that even in Roman Catholic countries these turbulent priests are excluded? In France, in Sicily, and in other Roman Catholic countries, the Government has been obliged to expel the Jesuits, and yet it is now proposed to admit them into this country without the safeguards of the Bill of 1829. Although no practical grievance has been shown, I think there is, on the other hand, great danger in admitting these bodies of men into a Protestant country without any safeguards whatever. I deprecate the agitation of these religious questions without sufficient and substantial grounds. I deprecate bringing this controversy before the House, because I think, by so doing, we run into great danger of creating ill feeling, of exciting injurious agitation, and of impeding the course of that Christian charity which I wish to see prevail in this country. I am sorry to be obliged to refer to the speech of the hon. Member for West Surrey (Mr. Drummond), who, without any practical grievance being made out, has so unaccountably come to the conclusion to abandon those safeguards for which he voted in 1829. I trust the sentiments now expressed by the hon. Member are not in accordance with those of the majority of this House. I hope that not one word which 751 has fallen from me will be taken in an offensive sense by my Roman Catholic fellow-subjects; and I rejoice that the feeling of the House is unanimously in favour of toleration. But while I rejoice that that great principle obtains, and is likely to remain in this House, I think it will be most wise, considering the aggressive nature of the Roman Catholic Church, that we should take great care not to allow our toleration to be transferred into encouragement. We are bound by every law of religion and justice not to give encouragement to a persuasion which we believe to be in error; and when I say we believe the Roman Catholic Church to be in error, I do so with the greater confidence, because I know that I have with me the Protestant character stamped upon our laws, our institutions, and our country. In conclusion, Sir, allow me to express the deep regret I feel that the other hon. Member for the University of Cambridge has been prevented from giving us on this occasion the able assistance of his talents and learning by indisposition.
§ MR. SHEIL
Although I might reasonably contend that the old opponents of Catholic Emancipation (the hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford, for example, who with such bland intolerance resisted that great enactment as he has during his life resisted improvement in every form) are not entitled to insist upon any contract to which they were no parties; yet I will not only not deny, but, upon the contrary, I will most frankly and fully acknowledge, that inasmuch as concession to the Catholic was accompanied by security to the Protestant, both security to the one, and concession to the other, ought to remain undisturbed. I will argue the case upon that admission, and acknowledge that any clause in the Act of Emancipation which can be reason-ably regarded as affording the slightest safeguard to the Protestant religion, or to the Protestant Church, ought to remain inviolate. But, if there are other clauses in that Act which are galling to the Catholic, and are of no sort of use to the Protestant, those clauses ought to be submitted to the consideration of the Committee on this Bill, with a view to their modification, or to their repeal. Of this character are the clauses which make an initiation into the mysteries of Jesuitism, or of any other religious order, a transportable offence. The clauses to which I am referring ought not to be regarded as the bulwarks of the Protestant religion. Where there is no danger no 752 security is required. Danger there is none. What greater mischief can Franciscans, and Dominicans, and Carmelites, and Augustines do than the sturdy secular priesthood of Ireland? The Irish friars have taken little or no part in Irish agitation. As the law now stands, Father Mathew is liable to transportation. The Jesuits! Oh, the Jesuits! By the very utterance of the word the phantoms of Father Paysons, and Father Garrnett, and Father Petre, are evoked. Now the case I make with regard to the Jesuits is this—I will not endeavour to overcome your prejudices; I won't tell you that you are influenced by a vague, an indefinite, and irrational prejudice; I will not tell you that the enemies of the Jesuits were the enemies of Christianity, and that the conspirators against religion conceived that for the achievement of their purpose the suppression of the Jesuits was required; I will not tell you that the Jesuits are men of refined education, accomplished manners, and unspotted morals; I will not tell you that your own missionaries will bear no comparison with the followers of Loyola, and that the Jesuit in the wilderness, lifting up the cross, his only possession in this world, to the eyes of the red men, who stood awed and humanised before him, offered a far nobler spectacle than the New Zealand emissaries of Protestantism, by whom, with a lucrative piety, the tasks of conversion and the enjoyments of appropriation are combined; I will not tell you this, but I will tell you that the enactments against the Jesuits are utterly incapable of enforcement; that they are worse than worthless; and, as a security to Protestantism, in every regard more than without avail. In England and in Ireland there are plenty of Jesuits; the country is full of them. There is a great Jesuit college in the north of England; there is another in the vicinity ef Dublin; the Jesuits are building a third in this great metropolis; yet the Attorney General, if he were to institute a prosecution founded on the Statute of 1829, would be driven with shouts of derision out of court. Suppose that my hon. Friend were to prosecute Father Ligo, the head of the order in this country, I should take care to attend the Queen's Bench if it were but to mark the smile of polished disdain with which that eminent ecclesiastic would hear the speech of my hon. and learned Friend. Wherefore, then, should you retain upon the Statute-book those laws by which the impuissance of fanaticism is made mani- 753 fest? But it may be asked why laws should be repealed which work no practical grievance? The answer is obvious: those laws are of no use to the Protestant, and they are an affront to the Catholic, in the infliction of which it is most impolitic to persevere. Let me also add, that by going into Committee you may have the opportunity of substituting effectual regulations for the absurd penalties whose own extravagance counteracts the purposes for which they were designed. But, Sir, strongly as I have expressed myself in reference to the laws against religious orders, there is another enactment in the Statute of 1829 which is, if possible, still more preposterous and unjust—I allude to the clause by which Catholics are excluded from the Chancellorship of Ireland. The House should go into Committee, in order to afford an opportunity of considering how far the retention of that law is in the slightest degree a security to the Established Church. I am convinced that the clause in question was introduced under a misconception. I find a clear proof of it in the speech of the right hon. Member for Tamworth, delivered by him when the Act of Emancipation was introduced; he stated distinctly that his motive for excluding Catholics from the Chancellorship of Ireland was the fact that Church patronage was connected with the office. This statement was clearly made under the impression that the Lord Chancellor of Ireland was in the enjoyment of ecclesiastical patronage. The truth is, that he has none whatsoever. What an absurdity then it is to admit a Catholic to the office of Chief Justice, who is not removable by the Crown, and who, upon great political trials, has such great power, and to shut Catholics out of the Chancellorship, to which in Ireland very little political influence is incidental, and who holds his office at the pleasure of the Crown. To the whole Catholic people this is an offence, and to the Catholic bar it is a most signal wrong. Last term there were nine Catholics and three Protestants called to the bar, and yet no Catholic can attain the highest prize in his profession. There has recently been a loud cry in Ireland against the nomination of an English barrister to the Chancellorship of Ireland; and until Irish barristers are made Judges in this country, the sentiment to which that cry gave expression is most just. But what can fee more preposterous than Irish exclusiveness and Catholic exclusion? The only object of that exclusion is to maintain 754 a wretched remnant of ascendancy, and to offer a wanton and profitless offence to the feelings of the majority of the Irish people. It operates as a memorial of the penal code; it is the mark which the manacle has left behind.
§ MR. HENLEY
thought the most important and most objectionable portion of the Bill was that which sanctioned the introduction of Roman Catholic religious orders into this country. He had heard a great deal of indignation expressed at the possibility of transporting a "Christian Brother;" but he denied that a "Christian Brother" was liable to be transported for simply exercising his calling in England. It was true that a penalty was imposed; and if any one refused to pay the penalty he was subject to banishment, and if he did not submit to banishment he was liable to be transported. That, however, was a very different thing from transporting him because he was a "Christian Brother;" he was transported because he would not obey the law of the land; and it seemed to him to be but part and parcel of the same Jesuitism to put any other interpretation upon the Act. He should support the Amendment of his hon. and learned Friend, because he believed that no real grievance had been shown, and that the passing of the Bill would only tend to what he believed to be a most dangerous thing— the introduction of the Jesuits into this country.
The EARL of ARUNDEL AND SURREY
said, the hon. Member who had just sat down, and who was so well known in that House for his sagacity and ability upon most occasions, had made a misstatement in the present instance. The hon. Member stated that Christian Brothers and Jesuits were not subject to transportation if they registered their names in compliance with the Act of 1829. [Mr. HENLEY: Not if they obeyed the order of banishment.] He thought the hon. Gentleman was using a Jesuitical argument. He perfectly saw the distinction which his right hon. Friend the Member for Oxford drew between the Jesuits and other orders; but his principle was, that the members of every order had a right to remain in this country. We were told that it was to secure the Protestants of this country that we wished to keep out these orders, and we were told that these orders were dangerous to civil obedience. The right hon. Gentleman said he thought the constitution of the Jesuits hardly consistent 755 with civil obedience. He would refer the right hon. Gentleman to Catharine of Russia, to Frederick of Prussia, to Henry of Navarre, as to their opinion of the merits of civil obedience from the Jesuits. He might be allowed to quote Southey in favour of the literary merits of the Jesuits. He said—Hating Popery as I do, yet I am a great admirer of the Jesuits as a body of men to whom literature is much beholden, in fact all mankind. The lowest and most beggarly of them hare done more as a body than any of our universities.He said that it was of the utmost importance for the spread of Christianity to obtain persons devoted to the service of God, sacrificing their temporary interest and welfare to the interests of Christianity; attracting by their example and assiduous perseverance in their Christian duties the admiration of all, and drawing to them those who hated Christianity altogether. Were hon. Gentlemen aware of the atheistical and infidel publications now sold at the cheapest rate amongst the lower orders of the kingdom? He held in his hand a copy of the Northern Star, which contained a long advertisement, amongst others, of the following works:—The Infidel Text Book," "Discussion on the Authenticity of the Bible," "Discussion on the Existence of God," "Volney's Works," "Paine's Works," "The Bible of Reasons," "The New Ecce Homo, or Christianity proved Idolatry," "Socialism made Easy," "Voltaire's Works," "Life of Robespierre," and a book called "The Three Impostors, or Moses, Mahomet and Christ.When such works as these were spread abroad, it was high time to ask for the assistance of the Jesuits. Without this, religion, justice, and honour, would forsake this country, and seek across the Atlantic for that freedom and independence which were here denied them.
§ SIR J. PAKINGTON
was anxious to be allowed to state to the House the reasons why he was unable to arrive at the conclusions which had just been expressed by the noble Lord and by the right hon. Member for Dungarvon, and the reasons why he was unable to give a vote in support of the Committee on this Bill. He had always avowed his anxiety to relieve his Roman Catholic fellow-subjects from every disability which could possibly hurt them, and to extend to them every concession consistent with a fair and just support of Protestantism. On the same principle he had been willing to give a vote for the repeal of obsolete penal statutes, and to re- 756 lieve the Statute-book from those enactments which, without being beneficial to the Church or the Protestant population of this country, had been found galling to the feelings of the Roman Catholics; but, on the other hand, he was not prepared to give a vote for any measure, the tendency of which was to repeal those securities which were established by the Roman Catholic Relief Bill of 1829. He had just heard from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dungarvon—and from him it was a large admission—that where concessions were accompanied by securities, that those securities and those concessions ought to stand together. He accepted that opinion on the part of the right hon. Gentleman, and it was on that principle he was prepared now to give his vote; and he could not allow to the right hon. Gentleman the right which he had assumed in his speech, of taking it upon himself to distinguish with regard to what were securities and what were not securities, and to declare that he was ready to give his vote for the repeal of those enactments which others held to be securities. He believed that the Bill now before the House, if not exactly identical, was essentially the same with the Bill brought in by Mr. Watson during the last Session of Parliament. It consisted of two parts. One went to repeal certain obsolete enactments, and the other went to repeal the securities of 1829. Last year, when the same Bill was before the House, it was contended that the right course for those who disapproved of the securities of 1829, and wished to do away with obsolete statutes, was to vote for the Bill going into Committee, and then in Committee to get rid of the objectionable portions. According to Parliamentary practice this would be the right course. If this Bill were before the House for the first time, he should be prepared to vote on that principle; but when he found that notwithstanding the discussion of last year this Bill was again brought forward in precisely the same shape in which it was objected to last year, he was driven to the conclusion that the part to which importance was really attached was not the repeal of obsolete statutes, but the repeal of those securities of 1829 which he trusted, in common with the majority of the House, he was desirous to maintain. He therefore wished to say simply, that if the hon. and learned Member for Youghal, of any other hon. Member, would bring in a Bill simply to repeal those obsolete enactments, he 757 should be prepared to give a cordial support to the measure; but looking at the circumstances under which this Bill was now introduced—looking further at the provisions of this Bill, a second time seeking to repeal the securities of 1829, he felt he could not misunderstand the real object of the Bill; and notwithstanding it was his anxious wish to extend every indulgence to the Roman Catholics, he must give his vote in opposition to the Bill.
The ATTORNEY GENERAL
said, that, as during the discussion he had been twice appealed to by the hon. Member for the University of Oxford, and the Member for Oxford, to state his opinion as to the first provisions of this Bill, the House would excuse a few observations. If he were to answer every question, it would open a door to legal discussion which would weary the House rather than convince them, or satisfactorily occupy their time. The first question might very properly be deferred to the time when he should have an opportunity of correcting any erroneous impression which might have existed. He apprehended that it was unnecessary in this stage to enter into an inquiry of this sort. It was certainly unnecessary to satisfy the right hon. Gentleman who first put the question to him, because whatever was the answer to the question in the first branch of the Bill, he was prepared to vote on the portion comprehended in the second division. It was quite unnecessary to make any answer to those who objected to all further exclusions, for be the answer one way or the other, they were prepared to vote in the affirmative; but there might be some Members who, thinking the settle-meat of 1829 final, might be prepared to go into Committee on the first branch of the subject. If he could show that there was any Act in the first branch which was not repealed, and which ought to be repealed, he should have stated sufficient ground for going into Committee. Now he believed that the Act of 13 Eliz., cap. 2, was not repealed; and if it ought to be repealed, it required an Act of Parliament for that purpose. He therefore trusted that the House would have no difficulty in going into Committee on the Bill.
§ The House divided, on the question that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill:—Ayes 186; Noes 154: Majority 32.
|List of the AYES.|
|Adair, H. E.||Adare, Visct.|
|Adair, R. A. S.||Alcock, T.|
|Anson, hon. Col.||Heywood, J.|
|Anson, Visct.||Howard, hon. C. W. G.|
|Baines, M. T.||Hume, J.|
|Barkly, H.||Hutt, W.|
|Baring, rt. hon. F. T.||Jackson, W.|
|Bellew, R. M.||Jervis, Sir J.|
|Berkeley, hon. H. F.||Johnstone, Sir J.|
|Berkeley, hon. G. F.||Keogh, W.|
|Birch, Sir T. B.||Keppel, hon. G. T.|
|Blackall, S. W.||Kershaw, J.|
|Blake, M. J.||King, hon. P. J. L.|
|Bouverie, E. P.||Labouchere, rt. hon. H.|
|Bowring, Dr.||Langston, J. H.|
|Bright, J.||Lascelles, hon. W. S.|
|Brockman, E. D.||Lewis, G. C.|
|Brotherton, J.||Lincoln, Earl of|
|Brown, W.||Lushington, C.|
|Buller, C.||Macnamara, Major|
|Bunbury, E. H.||M'Gregor, J.|
|Busfeild, W.||M'Tavish, C. C.|
|Buxton, Sir E. N.||Meagher, T.|
|Callaghan, D.||Mahon, The O'Gorman|
|Campbell, hon. W. F.||Marshall, J. G.|
|Carter, J. B.||Marshall, W.|
|Caulfield, J. M.||Martin, C. W.|
|Cavendish, hon. G. H.||Matheson, Col.|
|Cayley, E. S.||Melgund, Visct.|
|Clay, J.||Milnes, R. M.|
|Clements, hon. C. S.||Mitchell, T. A.|
|Clifford, H. M.||Moffatt, G.|
|Cobden, R.||Molesworth, Sir W.|
|Colebrooke, Sir T. E.||Monsell, W.|
|Craig, W. G.||Morpeth, Visct.|
|Crawford, W. S.||Morison, Gen.|
|Dawson, hon. T. V.||Mostyn, hon. E. M. L.|
|Devereux, J. T.||Mowatt, F.|
|Drumlanrig, Visct.||Mulgrave, Earl of|
|Drummond, H.||Mure, Col.|
|Duff, G. S.||Newry and Morne, Visct.|
|Duncan, G.||Nugent, Sir P.|
|Dunne, F. P.||O'Brien, T.|
|Ebrington, Visct.||O'Brien, W. S.|
|Ellice, E.||O'Connell, M. J.|
|Elliot, hon. J. E.||O'Connor, F.|
|Evans, J.||O'Flaherty, A.|
|Ewart, W.||Paget, Lord C.|
|Fagan, W.||Palmerston, Visct.|
|Foley, J. H. H.||Parker, J.|
|Fordyce, A. D.||Peto, S. M.|
|Forster, M.||Pigott, F.|
|Fox, W. J.||Pilkington, J.|
|Gardner, R.||Price, Sir R.|
|Gibson, rt. hon. T. M.||Pusey, P.|
|Gladstone, rt. hon. W. E.||Raphael, A.|
|Glyn, G. C.||Reynolds, J.|
|Gower, hon. F. L.||Ricardo, J. L.|
|Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.||Ricardo, O.|
|Granger, T. C.||Rich, H.|
|Greene, J.||Robartes, T. J. A.|
|Greene, T.||Romilly, J.|
|Gregson, S.||Russell, F. C. H.|
|Grenfell, C. P.||Rutherfurd, A.|
|Grenfell, C. W.||Sadleir, J.|
|Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.||Scholefield, W.|
|Grey, R. W.||Scrope, G. P.|
|Grosvenor, Lord R.||Scully, F.|
|Haggitt, F. R.||Seeley, C.|
|Hall, Sir B.||Seymour, Lord|
|Hayter, W. G.||Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.|
|Headlam, T. E.||Sidney, T.|
|Henry, A.||Simeon, J.|
|Herbert, H. A.||Smith, rt. hon. R. V.|
|Hervey, Lord A.||Smith, J. B.|
|Smythe, hon. G.||Vane, Lord H.|
|Somers, J. P.||Verney, Sir H.|
|Somerville, rt. hn. Sir W.||Villiers, hon. C.|
|Stansfield, W. R. C.||Wall, C. B.|
|Strutt, rt. hon. E.||Walmsley, Sir J.|
|Stuart, Lord D.||Watkins, Col. L.|
|Stuart, Lord J.||Wawn, J. T.|
|Sullivan, M.||Westhead, J. P.|
|Sutton, J. H. M.||Williams, J.|
|Talbot, J. H.||Williamson, Sir H.|
|Talfourd, Serj.||Wilson, J.|
|Tenison, E. K.||Wilson, M.|
|Thicknesse, E. A.||Wood, W. P.|
|Thompson, Col.||Wyvill, M.|
|Thornely, T.||Yorke, H. G. R.|
|Trelawny, J. S.||Anstey, T. C.|
|Tufnell, H.||Arundel and Surrey, Earl of|
|List of the NOES.|
|Arbuthnott, hon. H.||Egerton, W. T.|
|Archdall, Capt. M.||Farnham, E. B.|
|Arkwright, G.||Farrer, J.|
|Bagge, W.||Filmer, Sir E.|
|Bagot, hon. W.||Fitzroy, hon. H.|
|Bailey, J.||Floyer, J.|
|Bailey, J. jun.||Forbes, W.|
|Baldock, E. H.||Forester, hon. G. C. W.|
|Bankes, G.||Fox, S. W. L.|
|Bateson, T.||Frewen, C. H.|
|Beckett, W.||Fuller, A. E.|
|Beresford, W.||Galway, Visct.|
|Bourke, R. S.||Goddard, A. L.|
|Bowles, Adm.||Gordon, Adm.|
|Brackley, Visct.||Goring, C.|
|Bramston, T. W.||Granby, Marq. of|
|Bremridge, R.||Greenall, G.|
|Broadley, H.||Grogan, E.|
|Brooke, Lord||Gwyn, H.|
|Brown, H.||Halford, Sir H.|
|Bruce, C. L. C.||Hall, Col.|
|Buck, L. W.||Halsey, T. P.|
|Buller, Sir J. Y.||Hamilton, G. A.|
|Burghley, Lord||Hamilton, Lord C.|
|Burrell, Sir C. M.||Harris, hon. Capt.|
|Burroughes, H. N.||Hayes, Sir E.|
|Cabbell, B. B.||Heald, J.|
|Carew, W. H. P.||Heathcote, Sir W.|
|Chichester, Lord J. L.||Heneage, G. H. W.|
|Cholmeley, Sir M.||Henley, J. W.|
|Christopher, R. A.||Hildyard, R. C.|
|Christy, S.||Hildyard, T. B. T.|
|Cocks, T. S.||Hodgson, W. N.|
|Codrington, Sir W.||Hood, Sir A.|
|Cole, hon. H. A.||Hope, Sir J.|
|Coles, H. B.||Hornby, J.|
|Colvile, C. R.||Hudson, G.|
|Compton, H. C.||Ingestre, Visct.|
|Conolly, Col.||Ireland, T. J.|
|Corry, rt. hon. H. L.||Jocelyn, Visct.|
|Cripps, W.||Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.|
|Davies, D. A. S.||Jones, Capt.|
|Deedes, W.||Knight, F. W.|
|Deering, J.||Knox, Col.|
|Disraeli, B.||Lennox, Lord H. G.|
|Dodd, G.||Lewis, rt. hon. Sir T.F.|
|Duckworth, Sir J. T. B.||Lindsay, hon. Col.|
|Duncuft, J.||Lockhart, W.|
|Dundas, G.||Long, W.|
|Du Pre, C. G.||Lowther, hon. Col.|
|Edwards, H.||Lowther, H.|
|Lygon, hon. Gen.||Scott, hon. F.|
|Mackenzie, W. F.||Seymer, H. K.|
|M'Naghten, Sir E.||Shirley, E. J.|
|Manners, Lord G.||Sibthorp, Col.|
|Masterman, J.||Sotheron, T. H, S.|
|Maunsell, T. P.||Spooner, R.|
|Meux, Sir H.||Stafford, A.|
|Miles, P. W. S.||Stuart, H.|
|Miles, W.||Stuart, J.|
|Moody, C. A.||Sturt, H. G.|
|Morgan, O.||Thompson, Ald.|
|Mundy, E. M.||Tollemache, J.|
|Neeld, J.||Trollope, Sir J.|
|Newdegate, C. N.||Turner, G. J.|
|Noel, hon. G. J.||Verner, Sir W.|
|Packe, C. W.||Vyse, R. H. R. H.|
|Pakington, Sir J.||Waddington, D.|
|Palmer, R.||Walpole, S. H.|
|Pennant, hon. Col.||Walsh, Sir J. B.|
|Plumptre, J. P.||Welby, G. E.|
|Plowden, W. H. C.||Wellesley, Lord C.|
|Powell, Col.||Williams, T. P.|
|Prime, R.||Willoughby, Sir H.|
|Reid, Col.||Wyld, J.|
|Renton, J. C.|
|Rushout, Capt.||Inglis, Sir R. H.|
|Sandars, G.||Law, hon. C. E.|
§ The House went into Committee pro formâ, and resumed.
§ Committee to sit again.
§ House adjourned at Six o'clock.