MR. LAW moved—
That it be an Instruction to the Committee to divide the Bill into two Bills, including in one of the said Bills all that relates to the Act 10th George IV., c. 7, and the provisions thereof.
His object in moving this was not to show any favour to the first portion of the Bill, but to rescue the provisions of the 10th
George IV. from the operation of the Bill before the House.
§ MR. ANSTEY
did not wish to occupy the House by entering into any premature discussion on those clauses which related to the Act of the 10th George IV. He hoped, therefore, that the House would not anticipate the discussion that would take place when they came to that stage of the Bill when the clauses referred to would come under consideration. He hoped the hon. and learned Gentleman who had moved the Amendment would not force the House into a discussion of a question which did not properly arise at the present moment. If, however, the hon. and learned Gentleman thought fit to divide the House on the Amendment, he (Mr. Anstey) should then give such an explanation of the 10th George IV. as would satisfy the House of the impolicy of the instruction. He now wished to know from the hon. and learned Gentleman whether he intended to divide the House on his Amendment? [Mr. LAW said that he was entirely in earnest, and intended to persevere.] He would then state to the House what was the effect of the hon. and learned Gentleman's Motion. He (Mr. Anstey) had never attempted to conceal from the House that by far the most important portion of this Bill was that which related to the penal clauses contained in the Act of 1829, commonly called the Roman Catholic Relief Act. His object was to repeal those penal statutes which were passed against a deserving class of religionists on account of their profession and practice of a particular form of religion. If, however, the House should think that the measure was too large, he was content to take such an instalment of the boon he sought, as the House in its wisdom might concede. He should, however, feel it his duty to revive, at some future period, a discussion on those clauses—he should press the consideration of them on the House and on the country, in every possible way, until this act of justice was done to the Roman Catholics. But he would not anticipate, at the hands of the House, such a slight upon the immense majority of the people of Ireland, whose loyalty Parliament were anxious to retain, as would be involved in the adoption of the Amendment. The result of it would be to leave one-third of the clergy and ministers of 8,000,000 or 9,000,000 of people in the United Kingdom still outlawed, and without any legal status. If the Bill was passed 136 without the alteration proposed by the hon. and learned Gentleman, it would only have the effect of placing perhaps one-third of the ministers of 8,500,000 or 9,000,000 of Roman Catholics, including those in England, upon the same legal status with the ministers of that small denomination of believers who are not Christians, and to whose laity the Legislature the other day refused admission to Parliament. One-third of the clergy of this large Christian population were at this moment outlawed, and had no legal position in the country, while those who recognised their mission were eligible, with one or two exceptions, to the highest offices of the State. Those men were put out of the pale of the constitution, and, furthermore, made liable to certain ignominious pains and penalties. This Bill merely went to place them upon a level with the Rabbis of the Jews; and it was for the House to decide whether the priests of that Christian Church, from which the Church of England boasted that she had derived the apostolical succession, were less worthy to breathe the air of England than the teachers of a religion that held our Saviour to be an impostor and a felon. Ample security would be given to the State against—he would not say the probability—for no one who had studied the subject believed in any such likelihood—but against the possibility of the liberty proposed to be granted being abused at any future time by members of those secret societies which, according to some of the petitioners who had addressed the House, now existed in the Church of Rome, but of whose existence in that Church he was quite sure no Roman Catholic ever heard until the fact was stated in these petitions. The reverend persons in question would have to be registered in such a way as should give the State the fullest information with respect to their abode, their occupation, their spiritual superiors, and the objects and purposes of the society or order with which by their vow they were more immediately connected. The promoters of the Bill offered the House that every one of those persons whom this Bill proposed to restore to the country shall be duly registered, and every information given respecting their superiors and the rules of their order. It was also proposed that every Roman Catholic joining any of those religious orders should be registered within six months after joining "such order, community, or society." It was also provided that any such person coming into this country after the passing 137 of the Act must register within six months after his arrival. The form of those clauses had been taken, with such alterations as the case required, from that part of the Roman Catholic Relief Bill of 1829 which provided for the registration of such religious orders as then existed among the Roman Catholics. But the difference between the clauses in question and those on which they were framed, was very substantial. To explain this, it would be necessary for him to inform the House what the actual legislation on this subject really was. This was the more necessary, because notwithstanding the several explanations he had already given, many hon. Members on that (the Opposition) side of the House seemed to have entirely mistaken the law concerning monks and Jesuits. The noble Lord the Member for Leicestershire (the Marquess of Granby), the hon. Member for Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate), and other hon. Members, seemed to think that there was no absolute prohibition of Jesuits and monks in this country, and that such of them as chose to comply with the prescribed conditions of relief could always obtain relief under the Roman Catholic Emancipation Act. He could assure hon. Members that this was a very great misconception; and he would beg their attention for a few moments whilst he endeavoured to satisfy them that it was so. At no period, prior to 1829, was any distinction made between the Jesuits and other members of the Roman Catholic Church. In the Roman Catholic Relief Bill of that year, a distinction was first made. The penal laws struck at all alike. The priest, whether he were regular or secular, was equally under their lash; and when the Royal prerogative was exerted to mitigate their severity, the boon was conferred indifferently on either. The House would remember that an important fact in connexion with this was mentioned in one of the earlier debates on this Bill. Lord J. Manners, whose absence from the House all must sincerely regret, had drawn attention to the famous controversy held in the presence of King James the First, between Laud and Fisher—a controversy in which all that learning and ability could supply was urged on either side in support of the respective Churches. Now, Fisher was an avowed Jesuit; and in the authorised account of the controversy printed by the Royal command, the title-page describes the Roman Catholic disputant as "Mr. Fisher, a Jesuit." So, too, with the earlier 138 Relief Acts. None of those Acts made any distinction amongst the tolerated ministers of the Roman Catholic religion. The Act of 1829 was the first which did so. It contained a preamble which, after alleging the fact of there being within the realm Jesuits, monks, and so forth, recited that it was expedient "to make provision for their gradual suppression and final prohibition." Let the House attend to this remarkable declaration, and compare it with the enacting clauses which followed. By these, all male religious then existing and being then within the realm, or who, being natural-born subjects, should afterwards come within the realm, were required to register themselves within a period of six months; and very nearly in the form which he (Mr. Anstey) proposed for all male religious; and upon such registration being made, they were empowered to remain within the realm for life, and freely exercise their ministry. By another clause, the Secretary of State was empowered (if a Protestant) to license foreign monks and Jesuits to come into and reside for six months in the realm. It appeared, however, that no such licenses were ever asked for. This was the extent of the concession made by the Act of 1829. On the other hand, it was by the same Act distinctly provided, that if any other Jesuit or member of religious order came into the realm, or if any person should, after the commencement of the Act, profess himself a Jesuit or member of any religious order, he should suffer the penalty of banishment for life, to be executed, if need were, by deportation; and if he should return to, or be at large within the realm after such sentence, he should incur the pains of felony, and suffer transportation for life. No judge called upon to execute that law had any power reserved to him by it of mitigating its severity. The Queen alone could do that; but after sentence, and upon the advice of the Minister. That is to say, the large and respectable body of English and Irish ecclesiastics whose rights he was defending, were, by an Act not obsolete, but passed the other day, and in which many now hearing him had taken their part, put beyond the pale of the constitution, and placed, for the mere liberty of existence, at the arbitrary discretion of the Minister. He did not think that such a state of things was either just or prudent. He did not think that any man born in England, be he cleric or laic, should be dependent for the privileges of a British 139 subject upon the mere caprice of the Secretary of State. And yet such was the state of the law at this moment, that some of the most worthy men in England, for whom this measure was intended, were liable to transportation for life for daring to exercise those privileges; and it was at any moment in the power of the Secretary of State to enforce that liability. Was such a state of things to be tolerated any longer? He proposed, by this measure, to repeal the present absurd and inhuman law. He proposed, in the first place, that the measure for its repeal should be framed in such a manner as would give satisfaction, if possible, even to its opponents. He proposed to give such a security as did not exist at present with respect to the objects of this measure. On the other hand, all that he demanded was freedom of conscience for the excellent gentlemen who were its objects. He could assure the House that the number of those who could take advantage of the relief clauses in the Act of 1829 was now, by lapse of years, become exceedingly small—the number of those in terms excluded from the benefit of that Act, very great. That Act had for its objects "the gradual suppression and final prohibition" of Jesuits and members of other religious orders; and the House would see that, in nineteen years, "gradual suppression" must have advanced very far towards "final prohibition." Let them not suppose, however, that either the one object or the other could be accomplished. The conscience of man was superior to penal enactments. They had professed to take the Roman Catholic conscience under the protection of the law. One of the first duties of the Christian was to ascertain and follow Jus true vocation. If the statute law interposed between him and the performance of that duty, where was the Christian—where the citizen—who would deny that it was still his duty non obstante statuto, to persevere, to follow the dictates of his conscience, and to brave the penalties imposed by their Act of Parliament? But it was for the House to say whether it was politic, whether it was just, to keep alive this dangerous and unseemly conflict between fact and law—fact that could not be set aside—law that could not be enforced? It was for them to consider whether their endeavour to retain in loyalty and allegiance the Irish people was not likely to be defeated by their own example? On the one hand they maintained in force laws imposing 140 cruel and odious punishments on a large and, perhaps, the most beloved portion of their clergy, for no other reason than that they had embraced a mode of life which in a peculiar manner entitled them to Roman Catholic reverence, and which the Sovereign Pontiff delighted to honour. On the other hand, they were also told, that with the same tenacity with which Parliament retained those laws, it was also determined to resist their being put into execution. Was this the example of loyalty, obedience, and respect for law, which at this juncture especially it behoved them to set to distracted, to Roman Catholic Ireland? Either these penalties were necessary securities to the State, or they were not. If they were not, why retain them? If they were, how could the Government hesitate to put them in force? Why was Mr. Mitchel transported for the security of the State? And why was Dr. St. Leger of Clongowes Wood—equally dangerous with the United Irishman, if the advocates of these penalties are to be believed—to escape? If the Government did not intend to enforce the law against these gentlemen—if they refused to prosecute Jesuits and monks who had not registered themselves according to Act of Parliament, then he asked what right they had to prosecute Mr. Mitchel? It was not that they had no evidence that they declined prosecuting the Jesuits and monks. It was only last year that an honourable Member of this House, Mr. Bickham Escott, whose absence from the present Parliament he had also to deplore—presented a petition to this House from the prior, monks, and lay brothers of the Cistertian Abbey of St. Bernard, near Loughborough (one of the order of Latrappe), in which those reverend persons not only described themselves to be male religious, but further stated that they were such in violation of the statute. Their petition was printed by order of this House; and in itself it affords the very best evidence that can be required for the conviction of the petitioners, if, indeed, their conviction be expedient for the security of the State. But, if not, on what ground can we refuse to comply with the prayer of the petition; and by the repeal of the Act which outlaws, restore those excellent religious to their native country? If they thought that the present law afforded them indispensable securities for the safety of the kingdom, let them retain the law. But if they retained that law, they were surely bound to enforce it. He 141 had shown the House that there was a violation—a contemptuous violation—of that law on the part of these gentlemen, for they had, in a petition to that House, stated that they had acted in opposition to the law, and that they sought for the adoption of this Bill to screen them from the consequences of that violation. If the Legislature refused to grant that petition, then they could not stop short of enforcing the law against them. If, on the other hand, the House thought that the existing law was unwise and unchristian, and that it was absurd and impolitic to enforce it, then à fortiori it must be bad to retain it. He proposed, therefore, to repeal that law under certain conditions. If he followed his own bent, he certainly should be better satisfied to propose its repeal unaccompanied by any conditions; but if they must have conditions, they at least should not be able to say that he had not done his best to lay before them the only conditions which, as it occurred to him, would be satisfactory to the House, and such as the Legislature ought to demand, or Catholics ought to grant. Nevertheless, if the opponents of the measure knew of any better conditions—anything rectius istis, he (Mr. Anstey) would say, candidus imperti—let them be proposed, and he would give them the fairest consideration. He should always be found willing to support any measure which tended towards the mitigation of the existing law. If they decided upon rejecting this Bill, the question could not rest there; an agitation would begin tomorrow out of doors—an agitation influenced, it might be, by men whose ulterior objects were dangerous to the State. Let the Legislature, then, not consent to the absurd and unwise delay proposed by the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Law). Let the hon. Secretary give them the benefit of his own testimony in this matter, as his immediate predecessor had done. He (Mr. Anstey) was not then a Member of the House; but he had had two years ago the honour of witnessing from the gallery one of the debates on this very Bill, and he was sure that it must have been with a delight not inferior to his own that hon. Members heard on that occasion the testimony of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Ripon (Sir James Graham) to the good desert of the Jesuits. That right hon. Baronet, then Secretary of State for the Home Department, declared on his official responsibility, and with all the sanction derived from his long experience 142 of public affairs, that, as Home Secretary, he had for some time previously devoted his best consideration to this subject, as far as regarded the Jesuits, and he declared that there was no difference between them and the secular priests; and that there appeared to him no reason why these laws against them should be continued any longer; and that the only thing that prevented him at that moment from undertaking a measure for their repeal was the difficulty of consulting the prejudices, but still the honest prejudices, entertained by some members of the Church of England with respect to these religious orders, and particularly with respect to the Jesuits. He (Mr. Anstey) was sure nothing had ever fallen from the present right hon. Gentleman who filled the office of Secretary of State, which was in the slightest degree inconsistent with that declaration. Thus they had the testimony, and he appealed to it, of the present Home Secretary, and of his predecessor, that there was no ground why any reasonable man should set himself in opposition to the present measure. As English subjects, the gentlemen for whose relief this measure was introduced, were of course entitled to all the privileges of a subject of these realms; but, in addition, let the House consider for a moment how they had confirmed their right to the enjoyment of those privileges by the immense aids which they had given to the increase of religion, morality, and science in Great Britain. He was sorry that he had not in his possession a full return of the labours of these religious orders in Great Britain and Ireland; but he would claim the indulgence of the House whilst he laid before it such particulars as his industry had enabled him to collect. In the first place—
§ SIR G. GREY
, after apologising for interrupting the hon. and learned Member, begged to suggest that he might defeat his own object by entering into a long discussion at that time, and he advised the hon. Member to defer any further observations which he might have to make until the House had divided on the Amendment before it. He was afraid that if the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Anstey) continued to discuss the merits of the Bill at present, he would be followed by other hon. Members, so that, in fact, no real progress would be made in the Bill that day. He (Sir G. Grey) could assure the hon. and learned Gentleman that he made 143 this suggestion with every friendly feeling to himself as well as to his measure. He trusted that all future observations on the merits of the Bill would be postponed to the time when the House went into Committee upon the Bill, when the several clauses could be fully discussed.
§ MR. ANSTEY
said, he had understood it to be the wish of the House that the discussion should be taken then. He was very much obliged for the recommendation of the right hon. Baronet; but at the same time he felt bound, after what had fallen from the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Law) to say, that he could not now close his observations on the question until he had enabled the House to form some conception of the manner in which these religious orders had entitled themselves, not to persecution, but to complete toleration, if not protection, on the part of that House; at the same time he would promise the House not to repeat the observations which he was about to make when the Bill reached Committee. By such an understanding the right hon. Baronet must see that no time would be unnecessarily expended on the discussion of this Bill. In order to give the House some notion of the magnitude of the interest with which it was called upon to deal by this Bill, he would state to it as briefly as he could some of the statistics relative to the number, &c., of these religious orders in Great Britain and Ireland. In the first place (to begin with Ireland), he found that in the archdiocese of Dublin, at the beginning of this year, the number of the regular clergy amounted to 83; in Kildare and Leitrim the number was 10; in Ossory, 15; in Thurles, 15; in Cork, 22; and in several other dioceses the number was about the same. In Waterford and Limerick there were 14 regulars, and different convents, besides one abbey, which contained 100 members, of whom 14 were clergymen. That abbey, he need not remind the House, was the celebrated Abbey of Mount Melleray, one of the few institutions in Ireland, of that nature, which had done its best (and with great success) to supply that part of Ireland with the benefits of a paternal government and a resident proprietary. The members of that abbey had brought into cultivation 300 acres of land formerly supposed to be irreclaimable; they had 144 cultivated 230 acres more; and, with respect to their services to science and religion, they had established two schools, in which no less than 300 children were fed, clothed, and taught. From a number of other dioceses there were no returns; but the gross result of these returns was this—there were 2,205 secular priests in Ireland, and about 300 regulars, together with about 200 more who had not yet received the order of priesthood, and who were at present occupied in the education of youth. There were 62 convents and 34 monasteries in Ireland. In England there were these—in Yorkshire, one Benedictine monastery; in Lancashire, one Jesuit college, of whom there were 18 Jesuits in the house, and about 18 on missions. In the western district there were one Benedictine abbey, and two Conceptionists; in the Benedictine abbey there were six members in the house, and there were others on missions, for whom he had no return. Then in the central district there were one Conceptionist convent, one Redemptionist, one Cistercian, one Dominican, one Jesuit, and two others; making seven convents or colleges of religious orders in the central district. He had no returns from Scotland. With respect to the schools of the orders, he should merely trouble the House by mentioning those that were taught by the Christian Brothers; and he would again take Ireland first. He found that in Ireland, according to the list which he had made out, there were no less than 59 schools conducted by these deserving men, in which were taught 7,760 children. He found that in England they had established 34 schools, where 4,400 children were taught, making a total of 93 schools in England and Ireland, where 12,160 children were receiving the benefits of education. In addition he found that by these religious orders there were conducted several Sunday schools, where 1,600 adults received instruction. From this list he had been obliged to exclude Birmingham, not having accurate returns respecting that town. Besides this, there were 4,400 children receiving education from the hands of several other religious orders, whose names at present he did not know. With respect to their almsdeeds of every kind, he would only mention one fact. He had received the paper which he then held in his hand from the Prior of the Cistercian abbey or monastery at Loughborough, who, he must say, gave it him with great reluctance, for the House must feel 145 how repugnant to the feelings of a man of piety it must be to trumpet forth the good works of even his institute. He found, then, that from the beginning of January, 1847, until the end of November last (a period of eleven months), no less than 34,093 people had been fed in that one abbey, 11,545 houseless had been lodged. It might be gratifying to the House to know (in answer to those who had exclaimed against almsdeeds as having a tendency to create and perpetuate a race of paupers) what were the number of persons relieved during the different months of that period. He found that as many as 1,672 were lodged in one month, whilst in the following month the number amounted to no more than 414. That was a fact as honourable, in his opinion, to those who received as to those who administered the relief. It showed that when the deep distress which had overwhelmed that district, in common with the other parts of England, had partially passed away, the number of applicants became immediately less in the like proportion. Now, these were the good deeds of those possible convicts, whose interests he stood there that day to advocate. These good works spoke for themselves, and seemed to say on behalf of the religious orders, "Many good things have we done in our day; for which of them will you now transport us?" The hon. and learned Gentleman concluded by regretting that the advocacy of this important question had not fallen into abler hands. He relied with confidence, however, not upon his weak and imperfect statement of the case of those whose interests he represented, but upon those sentiments of justice, of mercy, and fair dealing which were implanted deep in the bosoms of Englishmen, to which he was sure no appeal could ever be made in vain.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
admitted that in the arguments which the hon. and learned Gentleman had advanced, there was nothing which was discreditable to him, entertaining the religious opinions he did; but he thought that the House ought to know fairly by whom it was that this question was urged, and under what authority it was proposed. The House ought not to he deceived by seeing a question of this kind in the hands of a private Member; but they ought to know the authority with which that hon. Member brought it under their notice. Now, it happened that, on turning over the pages of the Roman Catholic Directory 146 of 1848, he found the following statement:—19th of February, 1848.—Thomas Chisholm Anstey, Esq., Barrister-at-law, made a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory, by His Holiness the Pope, as a mark of his approbation, and as a reward for his great services in the cause of the Roman Catholic Church, especially for his endeavours to obtain a repeal of the statutes imposing penalties upon Roman Catholics.The hon. Member for Youghal, therefore, was a member of a military order of knighthood conferred by the Roman Pontiff. This combination of a military with an ecclesiastical character, was not uncommon in the Roman Church; witness the Knights Templars, the Knights of St. John, and the Jesuits, which latter were founded by Loyola, himself a soldier, and first general of the order, which still yielded implicit obedience to their generals, the successors of Loyola. If the hon. and learned Gentleman were sincerely convinced that it was for this kingdom's good that the Roman Catholic religion should prevail, he would admit that the hon. and learned Gentleman was justified in taking the course he was now pursuing; but, if experience went for anything, it was powerful to show that all history went against the Jesuits. As countries gained their freedom, the Jesuits lost their power. The first step to liberty in every Roman Catholic nation was the expulsion of the Jesuits. Even from Rome itself they had been expelled. What were the obligations imposed on the hon. and learned Gentleman by being made a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory? And by whom was that order established? It was established by Pope Gregory VII, who deposed the Emperor Henry IV. Now, he (Mr. Newdegate) wished to show the nature of this Order of St. Gregory, so far as it might be gathered from the character of its founder. He found in the Roman Catholic Directory, that the festival in honour of St. Gregory was especially ordered by the Pope to be observed in England, and indulgences were granted for the observance of it; and on that festival certain lessons were read so anti-social and subversive of all temporal authority in their character, that their use had been forbidden in most, if not all, the Continental States. The lessons for St. Gregory's festival, and that for the festival of Pius the Vth, who protended to depose Queen Elizabeth, were suppressed by the Parliament of France in 1829, and again by King Charles the VIth, in 1746, but reappeared 147 in the Paris and Lyons edition of the Breviary, published in 1842, page 662; in the Ratisbon edition of 1840; and in the English and Irish edition of 1846: all these years were not long antecedent to the troubles on the Continent, and the fall of the dynasty of France. These festivals were in honour of Popes who had practised the power of deposing sovereigns, and of absolving subjects from allegiance, which their successors still claimed. [Mr. ANSTEY: No, no!] He (Mr. Newdegate) concluded that the hon. Member would not dispute the decrees of the Roman canon law. In Wordsworth's Letters on the Church of Rome he found the following quotations from the edition of the canon law printed in 1839, with the approval of the Roman Catholic Consistory of Saxony: "The kingly power is subject to the pontifical; that the Pope has a right to depose sovereigns, to dispose of their kingdoms, and to absolve subjects from their allegiance," &c. From the Pope's assertions concerning his own powers, in his own canon laws, published by his own order, the following extracts were quoted by Mr. Wordsworth:—
§ ON OATHS OF ALLEGIANCE.
§ "The Apostolic authority altogether cancels illicit oaths, as the Lord says by the Prophet. Isa. Iviii. 6.
§ "The Roman Pontiff absolves from the oath of allegiance, when he deposes any from their authority.—Gregory IX., Decret ii. pars. c. xv., q. vi., p. 647."
With respect to the deposition of Sovereigns, and the oaths of subjects and soldiers, it was said, p. 648:—
The pontifical authority absolves from the oath of allegiance.
The following ancient precedent is then cited:—
The Roman Pontiff, Zachariah, deposed the King of the Franks, not so much for his evil deeds, as because he was not serviceable to his own power, and raised to the throne in his place Pepin, the father of Charlemagne, and absolved all the Franks from the oath of allegiance which they had taken.
The same is done frequently (auctoritate frequenti) by the Holy Church, when it releases soldiers from the obligation of their oaths.
On the subject of oaths of allegiance to excommunicated persons, he found the following passage, p. 648:—
No one owes allegiance to any excommunicated persons before they are reconciled to the Holy See.
The Pope proceeds to forbid such allegiance to be paid:—
No oaths are to be kept if they are against the interests of the Church of Rome.
Oaths which are against the interest of the Church are not to be called oaths, but perjuries.—Decret. Greg IX., lib. ii., tit. xxiv., cap. 27 (vol. ii. p. 358).
The following sentences would show that the oaths of allegiance, taken by ecclesiastics to temporal sovereigns, were considered illicit and void:—
Ecclesiastics not having temporalities from laics, are not bound to take oaths of allegiance to them. Certain laics contrive to usurp too much on the Divine right, when they compel ecclesiastics, receiving no temporalities from them, to take oaths of allegiance; but since, according to the Apostle (Rom. xiv. 4), every one stands or falls to his own Master, we prohibit such ecclesiastics from any such violence.
We declare that you are not bound by your oath of allegiance to your Prince, but that you may resist freely even your Prince himself, in defence of the rights and honours of the Church, and even of your own private advantage.
The kingly power is subject to the pontifical, and is bound to obey it.
Now, the hon. and learned Gentleman had said, that if there was anything required by the law of the land which was against the law of conscience, the law of conscience should prevail. But what was the law of conscience with the hon. and learned Gentleman? It was, that he should act in accordance with the decrees of his Church—with him the sole rule of right and wrong was that which was laid down by his Church. If, therefore, the hon. and learned Gentleman acted in accordance with the commands of the councils and the Popes, he must feel himself bound to resist every statute of this country that maintained the Protestant religion; and in opposition to those statutes he must set up the authority of the Pope. [Mr. ANSTEY: No, no!] The hon. and learned Gentleman said "No;" but these laws were embodied in the 17th canon of the third council of Lateran; it is there affirmed that those oaths are not to be called oaths, but perjuries rather, which are contrary to the advantage of the Church. Bishop Doyle says (Appendix to Irish Education Report, p. 794):—
The Third Lateran Council is one of the General Councils of the Roman Catholic Church.
In the 27th chapter of that Council it is affirmed—
That all who are in any way bound to heretics should consider themselves absolved from all fidelity and obedience due to them as long as they persist in their iniquity.
Archbishop Murray admitted that the Council of Constance was general; and Roman Catholics profess that they receive without doubt what the canons of the general councils declare; and one of the decrees
of the Council of Constance is:—" That faith is not to he kept with heretics, to the prejudice of the Church." If the principles laid down in the decretals of Gregory were fully adopted by the Roman Catholics, he could not help trembling for their allegiance. When the hon. and learned Gentleman avowed himself as the maintainer of the most extreme doctrines of the Roman Church, it behoved the House to look with extreme caution at any proposition coming from him for the alteration of the laws of this country. To alter them, for what? Did the hon. and learned Gentleman complain of persecution? No such thing. Immediately preceding the convulsions which had shaken Europe, they saw the Pope of Rome, in some cases, insisting on a renewal of those obligations upon Roman Catholics to consider his power supreme over every law and institution of any earthly potentate. Within a few weeks they had seen dynasties, institutions, aye, and the most ancient Powers of the continent of Europe, shaken to their foundations. And what was passing even in that House? Why, the hon. and learned Member for Youghal came and threatened them with agitation if they did not concede the measure he now contended for. The noble Lord the Member for Arundel had said that the Church of Rome was an aggressive church. He never doubted it; and they had evidence of it before them. The hon. and learned Member for Youghal was an illustration of the aggressive nature of that church. That hon. and learned Member was threatening them with agitation if they did not repeal these laws; he did not ask them to repeal the law in misericordiam, but he demanded it in a tone most threatening, and almost insulting to the House. But he would tell the hon. and learned Gentleman that Protestants were not to be deterred by threats. The example of the Continent was not lost upon them. The Protestants desired to persecute none, but they would not permit themselves to be dictated to by any. And now he would turn to Her Majesty's Government, and beg their attention for a few moments, while he read to them their own expressed opinion with respect to the religious orders, and particularly the Jesuits; the legalisation of which, and the formal establishment of which, in this country, was the object of the second section of the Bill before the House. He had occasion some time since to question the manner in which the correspondence with the Court of Rome had been carried on by the Government,
and to declare that, in his opinion, the noble Lord at the head of Foreign Affairs had acted disgenuously towards the House; but he hoped that nothing had occurred to induce the noble Lord to suppose that he disapproved of the course which had been adopted by Her Majesty's Government with respect to the removal of the Jesuits from Switzerland. He found in the correspondence relating to the affairs of Switzerland a letter from Lord Palmerston to the Marquess of Normanby, dated November 16, 1847. In that despatch the noble Lord says—
The British Government will most cheerfully join with the other Four Powers in making a friendly and conciliatory offer; and will be truly rejoiced if Great Britain should thus, in conjunction with its allies, be instrumental in rescuing the Swiss nation from the calamities of internal conflict.
Now, the purpose in view being to settle a difference, the first step to be taken seems to be to ascertain, as far as possible, what are the matters in dispute; and it appears to Her Majesty's Government that the points which at present are practically at issue between the Diet and the Sonderbond, and which seem to be the immediate causes of the civil war, are, on the one hand, the establishment of the Jesuits in Switzerland, and the separate union of the seven cantons in the Sonderbond; and, on the other hand, proceedings either threatened or begun by the Diet towards the seven cantons, which, in the opinion of those cantons, infringe upon that principle of separate cantonal sovereignty which forms the basis of the federal compact. Now, it appears to Her Majesty's Government that the objection which the Diet makes to the continuance of the Jesuits in Switzerland is not destitute of good and reasonable foundation. The society of Jesuits must be looked at both in a religious and in a political point of view.
In its religious character it is a society avowedly established to make war upon the Protestant religion. What wonder, then, that in a small country like Switzerland, where two-thirds of the people are Protestants, the introduction of such a society should give rise to dissension between Catholic and Protestant, and should be viewed with aversion by the majority of the nation?
In its ecclesiastical character the society of Jesuits is known to be exclusive and encroaching. Can it be surprising then, that in Switzerland, as in other countries, a great portion even of the Catholic population should look upon the Jesuits with jealousy and dislike?
In their political character the society of Jesuits have always been known to lean to arbitrary power, and to be averse to popular rights. Can it then excite astonishment that this tendency, which has made the Jesuits an object of special legislative prohibition in France, and which is well known not to have been without its share in producing those events which led to the French Revolution of July, 1830, should be considered by the republics of Switzerland as dangerous to the fundamental principles of their political constitutions? Without examining, then, whether some of the persons who have now arrayed the majority of the Swiss nation in arms against the Jesuits, have
or have not ulterior objects in view, Her Majesty's Government cannot but acknowledge that the grievance of which the Swiss majority at present complain is a real one; and that as long as that grievance continues to exist, there is no hope of internal peace in Switzerland; and it seems consequently to follow, that the Five Powers, who are anxious to restore tranquillity to that country, ought to begin by endeavouring to remove this fertile source of evil.
Her Majesty's Government, therefore, would suggest that the basis of the arrangement to be proposed by the Five Powers to the contending parties in Switzerland should be the removal of the Jesuits.
He (Mr. Newdegate) begged the attention of the House to the similarity of circumstances in this country and Switzerland; both had free institutions, both a population two-thirds Protestant to one-third Roman Catholic. He did not ask the Government to expel the Jesuits from this country. He did ask them, however, not further to legalise an order of men who had ever misused their power, and proved themselves the enemies of toleration and freedom. In a newspaper which was patronised by the authorities of Stonyhurst, a letter had appeared containing the following extracts. He was aware that it had been denied that the Jesuits were in any way connected with the newspaper in question (the Tablet); but it was a newspaper which was acceptable to a great number of Roman Catholics. It appeared that the Papal power lent itself through its agents to the revolutionary and democratic movements of the day for the acquisition of power. The following extracts from the letter in question would show the spirit which animated the Roman Catholic clergy of the present day:—
What could he worse for the fortunes of the Church than, while the mass of society was becoming, or had become, democratic, for the clergy to be thrown in complete dependence on monarchic or aristocratic influences, against which the inmost nature of the people revolted and rebelled?
In Prussia, what rescued the Church from danger? What but the spirit of democracy? The great archbishop, boldly placing himself in opposition to the Crown and the bureaucracy, and, from his prison, striking the chords of a popular sentiment before which the monarch was forced to yield. The same act both preached religion to the people and raised up the people against the Crown, swelled both the multitudes in the churches and the ranks of the political opposition. And thus the aristocrat, Mgr. Drost. Vischering, archbishop of Cologne, became, without intending it, and from the inevitable pressure of the times, at once an apostle of God and a tribune of the people.
And so in Bavaria, Most fortunate and providential do we regard it that the Catholic political power was already overthrown before the revolution; so that the revolution is in no respect a conquest
over that. The power of the Crown in behalf of the clergy was no more. They had nothing to hope for religion, except from the goodwill of the people. And now, thank God, the revolution comes to place everything in its proper position—to free the Church from the odium of a protection which could avail it nothing, and to compel the clergy to turn their whole attention to the only source from whence in future power can be derived.
From this year of grace 1848, we suppose that no Catholic can be so blind or so insensible to what is passing around him as to suppose that the mission of the Church is to reconstitute the world through the worn-out crutches of an aristocracy and a monarchy such as once had place upon the earth. If these old institutions are to continue much longer—if the power even of the middle class is to remain permanent—if society itself is to be saved from a continually recurring anarchy, and efforts ever followed by disappointed hope, it must be by monarchy, aristocracy, and middle class becoming imbued with the spirit of the industrial democracy, making themselves its servants.
And the same thing is true of the Church. She cannot die. She must live. She must suffer. She must overcome.
To do this she must identify herself with the people. She must become their servant. She must stoop down to their lips to learn from them their diseases, that so she may discover and apply the remedy. She must learn their new dialect, in order to teach them once more her old truths. The hearths of her consecrated children must become democratic in order that on that only possible basis to reorganise a crumbling world.
The language of Mr. Lucett, the envoy of the Pope to the Swiss Diet, was also significant of the views of the Roman Catholic Church at the present moment. Addressing the Diet, Mr. Lucett, in the name of the Pope, says—
The Catholic clergy, and the august Pontiff whom I represent, wish to advance with you in that course of progress which the Church has so often, in past ages, opened to the nations that were enlightened and civilised under its auspices. We are to-day what we were in the first ages of Christianity, the children of the light, as the apostle says. Far from fearing the day, it is error that seeks and cherishes darkness; light is the daughter of truth. We only fear, for the people, those false glimmerings, those deceitful fires that conduct to the abyss.
Now, on the contrary, the social state of past times is nearly, and, ere long, it will be entirely, destroyed. What will be the result for the Church? The Church, always consistent with itself in that which is essential to her—the Church will accept the social transformation of the age. I will say more—it will not only accept it, but, faithful to its mission to promote progress in the life of nations, it will second and assist that transformation.
Be assured, then, that the Church, certain of the perpetuity of its destiny, fixes not its hopes exclusively on any human institution. It has long accepted with gratitude the favours of the powers of the earth; it does so still where that temporary support is afforded to it. Nor will it refuse when the moment shall arrive to acknowledge the great principle of a complete separation
between it and the State. It will not for a moment hesitate, if circumstances so decide, to inscribe on its banner that noble and supreme expression of tolerance and liberty. It has long since done so in Young America, and will do it again, perhaps to-morrow, on your frontiers, in one or other of those countries where the people so gloriously struggle to conquer their independence, or to reconstitute social order on a new basis. Pardon me for having entered at such length on these preliminary considerations. I felt it necessary to explain fully my real views.
He had felt it to be his duty to call the attention of the House to the language used by the Papal power, and the more especially because the hon. Member for Youghal, the exponent of that power, had threatened them with an agitation in this country if this measure for the legalised establishment of those religious orders which were the most active agents of the Papal power, was rejected. A strong hand, therefore, must be kept on the Orders of the Romish church. The Protestants of England would oppose, denounce, and overturn any Government which should prove false to the Protestant monarchy, so far as to deprive itself of the means of counteracting the intriguing designs of the Jesuits. The history of the order showed that the apprehensions entertained with respect to that order were by no means irrational. It had excited five different conspiracies against James I. before he had reigned a year; it was the disturber of Thrones, the enemy of peace, and the tyrant of the people. It had been acknowledged that the Jesuits were the creatures of Rome; and, if there was to be an agitation, who would conduct it? The class who had proved themselves rebels on the Continent would do so here; but he did not believe the Jesuits would be so blind and foolish—would so miscalculate their strength—as to raise their hands in such a cause. Should troubled times arrive, the Protestant people of this country would support the dynasty which presided over its destinies. The Throne was founded on the affections of the people; and the Sovereign was not only Queen of England in respect of political and civil jurisdiction, She was head of the Church of England; and if She would but arouse the feelings which She had a right to command in defence of the Church as well as the State, those who might be suspected of harbouring designs hostile to the Protestant constitution and monarchy of this country would be baffled in their attempts. But he did not believe that the Roman Catholics would be so infatuated. If they should be so, they would excite a feeling more detrimental
to the full and free exercise of their religion, and to the propagation of it, which was alleged to have been so successful, than had existed for years; and he at least would deprecate that spirit which might be expected to follow—the spirit akin to persecution which arose out of popular movements, He trusted the House would not allow itself to be led away so as to do violence to the conscientious Protestant feeling of England among Dissenters and Churchmen alike, but, on the contrary, he hoped they would allow those laws to remain on the Statute-book which experience had proved to be essential for the safety of the State.
§ MR. ANSTEY
wished to refer to one or two points in the way of explanation. What he had stated was, that if the decision of the House was hostile to this measure, he should still persevere in the cause he had taken up; but that there were others who, for the worst purposes, would raise agitation of the kind he had adverted to. The hon. Gentleman had referred to a decoration which he had received from the Pope, by which he was supposed to have bound himself to the principles of a certain Pope, who emitted in his briefs highly anti-social opinions, such as that no faith was to be held with heretics. The hon. Gentleman, however, was wrong in his statement of the fact. The honour which he had received, and which he considered a great one, was the Order of St. Gregory the Great, the Pope who sent the first Christian missionary to this country, and not Gregory IX. The Pope who was the author of the decretals to which the hon. Gentleman had referred, came much later, and was not the Pope in whose honour this order was instituted. If the Pope in whose honour the order had been instituted emitted such detestable and antisocial opinions as the hon. Gentleman had spoken of, especially the supposed doctrine that no faith was to be held with heretics, he (Mr. Anstey) should have regarded the insignia of such an order as the greatest possible reproach.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
did not mean to say it was Pope Gregory IX. He adverted to the fact that it was Pope Gregory VII. who deposed the Emperor Henry IV., and he stated that the order of which the hon. Member for Youghal was a member was established in honour of that Pope who had deposed the Emperor, and also that the lessons used in the commemoration of his festival were of so objectionable a nature that they were suppressed in various 155 Continental countries. The principles acted upon by Gregory VII, and enunciated in the lessons appointed for his Festival, were embodied in the decrees of Gregory IX., and formed part of the Roman canon law.
The EARL of ARUNDEL and SURREY
did not see the necessity that existed for dividing the Bill into two, which, indeed, he regarded as an uncalled-for obstruction to the measure, which had already passed half way through Committee. He wished to advert to one or two points alluded to in the course of these discussions. Reference had been made to the Tablet; and he had promised to some Roman Catholic friends that he would take an opportunity of repudiating the statements made with regard to that paper. The Tablet was stated to be the exponent of the Papal power. [Mr. NEWDEGATE: No, of the Jesuits.] Well, of the Jesuits; but if the hon. Member who said so would read the Gazetta di Roma, he would find in it something not very favourable to the view he had expressed. There was no ground for the statement. As to the letter which the hon. Gentleman had quoted, a contradiction of it was sent to the Times, but not published there, though he believed it had appeared in some other paper. A quotation had been read by the hon. Member from a despatch of the noble Lord the Minister for Foreign Affairs bearing upon the conduct of the Jesuits with reference to Switzerland and the revolutions on the Continent. Now, the hon. Gentleman must know that in all these revolutions the Jesuits had been the first to suffer. Indeed, it could not be denied that the Jesuits were the most loyal subjects of any Government under which they lived, whether republican or despotic; and he might state, that in the late war between America and Mexico ten Jesuits had accompanied the American army for the purpose of affording instruction and consolation to the soldiers professing the Roman Catholic faith. He was not disposed to enter upon a discussion of those parts of the Bill especially objected to by the hon. Member. When they came to the consideration of the clauses, the hon. Gentleman would, most probably, again favour the House with his views, and it would then be time to take the discussion.
§ MR. NAPIER
thought it was essentially necessary to the fair discussion of this measure, that it should be divided into two parts. The Bill itself consisted of two distinct parts, and, with respect to 156 the one which proposed to get rid of the disabilities of the Roman Catholics, he was ready to say that if there were any disabilities still remaining offensive to them, and which could be done away without impairing the security of the Protestant institutions of the country, he was perfectly willing to see them removed from the Statute-book. He was not for retaining pains and penalties merely for their own sake. But with respect to that part of the Bill, he was prepared to say that there were no Acts of Parliament remaining which imposed such penalties; and those which still remained contained so full a recognition of the principle, and were so connected with the very fibres of the constitution, that they could not be disturbed without shaking its foundations. With respect to that part of the Bill which related to the Emancipation Act, it introduced altogether a new course of legislation. Now, he held that it was most important to the interests of the empire, that a clear distinction should be kept betwixt the loyal Roman Catholics, subjects of the empire, and those who acknowledged the authority of a foreign Power. That distinction was not his; it was one already well known and acknowledged, and had always been so. Lord Somers, who lived at the time of the Revolution, made this distinction very clearly; and it was on that principle the Act of Settlement was founded. Dr. Doyle, in a pastoral address published in 1822, stated that the Roman Catholic religion in this country was not only tolerated but protected by the law. He (Mr. Napier) maintained, therefore, that the loyal Roman Catholics had complete toleration. If it were not so, he would be the first to stand by the right side of the hon. Gentleman, and assert their right to it. When the measure of 1829 was passed, it was founded on the evidence which had been taken by Committees of Parliament, there having been an elaborate inquiry in 1816, and another in 1825. After that Act was passed, it was declared satisfactory by all the parties most interested. The Catholic hierarchy in 1830 issued an address, signed by twenty-seven prelates, in which it was described as a great boon conferred upon Ireland. But it was said, the law of 1829, which excluded the religious orders, had been violated, and on that ground a change of the law was demanded. He denied the propriety of such a course. With regard to the loyal Roman Catholics, they asked for equality of civil privileges, and they obtained them, securities 157 being given for the safety of our institutions. But with regard to the regular clergy, no security could be given, and therefore it was concluded that their existence was incompatible with the state of things in the country; and now, because the law excluding them was violated, they were asked to make the law bend to them, instead of making them yield in the conflict to the authority of the law. If, however, it was said that matters had changed since this measure was passed—that a new order of things had arisen—then let there be inquiry into such allegations. But such a Bill as the present should not be passed without the House being satisfied that such changes had taken place as to render it necessary. What was the opinion of the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs with reference to the Jesuits? Here the hon. and learned Gentleman read several extracts from letters written by Lord Palmerston in his correspondence relative to the affairs of Switzerland—including the one to the Marquess of Normanby, dated November 16, 1847, previously quoted, in which he described the Society of the Jesuits as having been "avowedly established to make war upon the Protestant religion;" as being "known to be exclusive and encroaching" in its ecclesiastical character; while, in its political character, it had "always been known to lean to arbitrary power, and to be averse to popular rights." Such was the language of the noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Office with respect to the Jesuits in 1847. After such evidences of the character of the Jesuits, he would ask the House, were they prepared to do away with those safeguards in this country, which had been adopted in respect of these parties in the year 1829? It appeared that, from the year 1575 to 1773, the Jesuits had been thirty-seven times expelled from various countries in which they had a footing. Every authority to which reference might be made, showed that the whole principle upon which their conduct, and that of other States, was founded, was this—that these men being bound by their system of obedience to a foreign Power, it became necessary for every country in which they established themselves to reject them. It was on that account that in the Act of 1829, with the utmost anxiety to extend the greatest toleration and the most extensive civil and political privileges to their Roman Catholic fellow-subjects, they were obliged to accompany it with precautions which they were now called upon to rescind. 158 It was urged that if they could not make laws to expel the Jesuits, therefore they were to give them particularly free ingress into this country. Such being the state of things, what was their protection here? He would answer, it was that Protestant spirit of our institutions—that spirit which they were bound to guard—that spirit which they were bound to assert, to act upon, and manifest. They were willing to carry out emancipation in the same spirit in which it was enacted; but they should not be called upon to let these men thus by a side wind into this country, when they were told by a Member of the present Government that their principles were such as had been described. He, therefore, called upon the House to separate the two portions of the Bill, and discuss them distinctly and separately on their own merits; and whatever might be the result he, for one, would be perfectly satisfied after such a discussion.
agreed with the hon. and learned Member for Youghal (Mr. C. Anstey), that the clauses which he was desirous to expunge from the old Acts of Parliament were gratuitous insults to the Roman Catholic subjects of this realm; but he thought that that body had too many real and practical grievances to get rid of to trouble themselves much about obsolete clauses in old Acts of Parliament. He confessed, therefore, that although he was a sincere Roman Catholic, and anxious to repudiate every insult upon his religion, he was perfectly indifferent to the result of the measure as regarded these clauses; and that had the state of the law as regarded the regular clergy stood as it did in 1844, he would have felt and acted in reference to the clause in the Emancipation Act which it was now proposed also to repeal precisely in the same way as he did with regard to the clauses of the old Acts of Parliament. And why? Because up to 1844 that clause of the Emancipation Act was as obsolete in point of law and in point of fact as any of the old clauses to which he referred. Even before the Emancipation Act was passed, it was very well understood that that clause, though inserted to gratify certain parties in both Houses of Parliament, was to remain a dead letter; and, in accordance with that understanding, it had never yet been carried into effect. If it was not so, why did the Attorney General not carry it out, as he carried out the Act against political offences in Ireland? In 1844, however, the Charitable Bequests Act was 159 passed, by which the secular clergy of the Catholic Church were allowed to inherit property by succession, instead of being dependent, as formerly, on the honour of trustees; but this benefit was not extended to the regular clergy. This was a practical grievance under that Act. By it the regular clergy were excluded from the benefit of the Act, and the consequence was that they were to have their property vested in trustees. He had known several instances in which this had been productive of injury and injustice. He, therefore, demanded, on behalf of the regular clergy, that they should be placed on the same footing with the other clergy under the Bequests Act. With respect to the dislike borne to the Jesuits in this country, that was accounted for by the fact of their favouring the restoration of the Catholic religion after the establishment of Protestantism. But why were they expelled from various countries on the Continent? For no other reason than that they were always the determined enemies of anarchy and infidelity. There appeared to be rather an inconsistency in the argument of the hon. Member for Warwickshire when he accused the Jesuits of being favourable to revolution, yet told them that the Jesuits were expelled from Rome to please the revolutionists. In conclusion, he announced his intention of opposing the Amendments of the hon. Member for Youghal, which he considered as particularly insulting when coming from a Roman Catholic.
§ SIR R. H. INGLIS
thanked his hon. Friend the Member for Warwickshire for the very able, the well-reasoned, and very conclusive speech which he had addressed to the House. Before proceeding to notice either the speech of his noble Friend the Member for Arundel, or that of the hon. Member who had last spoken, he thought it right to state that in any vote which he was prepared to give on the present question, he did not feel himself called upon to give a preference to one division of the Bill over the other, as he could not regard either party with any favour whatsoever. He would, therefore, leave the hon. Member for Cork, who had just sat down, to settle accounts with the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite as to the merits of the proposed clauses. Whatever might be the value of the proposed clause in the eyes of its Mover, it was quite clear that objections were taken against it by parties who, should the clause pass, would be interested in its operation. With reference to the observation 160 of his noble Friend the Member for Arundel, that the opposition to the measure was obstructive, and, as such, injurious, he could assure his noble Friend, if he were then present—and he was sorry in his absence to be obliged to refer to anything he had said—that he never entertained any intention, nor did he think any such was felt on the part of those who acted with him, of opposing that Bill by any other means than by such as were not only technically correct, but substantially fair. He believed that, pressed as they were to alter part of a Bill which had not only the support of the Members of Government present and absent, but likewise of the late Administration, it was perfectly consistent with Parliamentary practice, that they should do their utmost to secure at least their rejection of that part of the Bill which the hon. and learned Member for Youghal (Mr. Anstey) characterised as the most important part of the whole Bill. But when he was told by the hon. and learned Member that those clauses in the Roman Catholic Relief Bill, which it was proposed to expunge, were not only inoperative in effect—and not merely so, but that they were thrown in our teeth on the occasion of a petition presented last Session to the House by the Monks of St. Bernard; when that hon. and learned Gentleman challenged them to try their strength, and put the law into force, which he felt it incumbent to remove—he resisted the conclusion to which the hon. and learned Member had come. On the very grounds which the hon. and learned Gentleman had taken, as well as for other intrinsic considerations, was he (Sir R. Inglis) prepared to agree to his proposition. The hon. and learned Gentleman made an attack upon the laws of England—upon the character of the Government, and the law officers of the Crown. "Base, cowardly, unwise, unconstitutional, absurd, impolitic conduct," were the terms applied by the hon. and learned Gentleman; "was it to continue those clauses, unless it was meant to enforce them?" By the terms of his proposition the clauses were inoperative, and therefore the conclusion he came to was that the Government was plunged into the precedent which the hon. and learned Gentleman had described by those terms, strung together like so many onions, to which he had referred. The hon. and learned Member claimed that the law should be changed because it was inoperative. So that in point of fact there was no persecution, and therefore his proposition 161 could not be resisted. He asked the Government what right had they to prosecute Mr. Mitchel, if they were not equally ready, under an existing law, to prosecute Mr. St. Leger, the President of the College of Jesuits? If the hon. Member's case rested on his own words, it appeared there was no persecution. It should have been the hon. and learned Member's object to show that these men could not enjoy the freedom of their religious worship. They were told that the number of persons affected by the law amounted to one-third of the Roman Catholic clergy of this empire, and made an appeal on that account for its alteration. Yet the hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Napier) had stated that the clauses in question had been, before the passing of the Relief Bill, shown to all the leading members of the Church of Rome, who had not only accepted the Bill with contentment, but gratitude. The experience which they had gained since the passing of the Emancipation Act, should be a warning to them not to trust to the arguments and statements of the hon. Member for Youghal, and more especially as the hon. Member for Cork also demanded the repeal of an existing law—that which was passed in 1844. If they were told that the question was one to be decided, not by reason or discussion, but by the efforts of people out of doors, he would answer, that they were not to be biassed by threat or clamour. So long as the constitutional institutions of this country existed, so long he trusted they would do their duty and decide calmly and deliberately on the question before them. With the hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin, he too would say, "To reason and conviction I will yield everything; to threat and menace nothing. "He believed the present matter was purely a question of discretion and expediency. Another minor question had been raised in the course of the discussion, as to what might be considered the correct exponent of the opinions of the Church of Rome in this country. It was not enough to rest those opinions on the statements of individual Members of that House of the Roman Catholic persuasion. There was other evidence, they were told, circulating throughout the world, of the nature of those opinions. He agreed with his hon. Friend the Member for Warwickshire, that they were entitled to take the Tablet as the organ of the opinion of the greater portion of the population of this country 162 professing that faith. His noble Friend the Member for Arundel could, in his charity, forgive anything addressed to him; but he could say nothing of that portion addressed to the hon. and learned Member for Youghal by the same. The hon. Baronet then referred to the Tablet, and read a portion from it, wherein, in contradiction to something stated by the individual to whom the article referred, it was said "that the opinion of the Pope was a command." If that were the case, he warned the House against giving any more authority in this country to one who already exercised in it, not by law, but against the law, a power dangerous to its best interests. The attainment of that extraordinary power, however, was what the hon. and learned Member for Youghal sought by his proposition. He would refer to the speech of the hon. Member for Cork. On a former occasion it had been observed that England was full of Jesuits. It had been said also that one-third of the Roman Catholic clergy were Jesuits, or members of some of those religious orders which it was the object of the Bill of 1829 to diminish or exclude. If such was the fact now, while the law stood as it did, what, he asked, would be the effect of removing the very slight barrier which resisted their introduction? He could not but feel that there was in that circumstance also sufficient grounds for the resistance which they offered to the measure. The hon. and learned Gentleman might have reserved every sentence of his unprovoked speech for a future stage of the proceedings; but as he had engaged the House in a discussion on its principle, he was not entitled to say a word at any future period of the discussion, nor attack them hereafter for any delay which might have taken place. He did not like to refer in his absence to anything which had fallen from his noble Friend the Member for Arundel; but when his noble Friend quoted the Jesuits as being amongst the most loyal subjects in any State in which they were, he could not help asking his noble Friend whether there was not a most singular consistency in error on the part of every Government in Europe—a consistency in error to which no parallel existed in history—that in thirty-five instances, within the course of three centuries, these most loyal subjects had been successively expelled by every Government and from every country in Europe? He would ask also any of their advocates whether the Jesuits would 163 not prefer remaining in this country under existing laws, not enforced against them, rather than remove to any other part of the world—to the freest or most despotic State? For his own part he believed that a great practical evil existed by the presence of these persons in this country, and if he could not remove them he would do nothing to encourage them; and, therefore, he was prepared to give all the opposition in his power to any measure which would go to legalise their existence, or give any further power to that Church of which they were members.
§ MR. SHEIL
said, he would not occupy the attention of the House for more than three or four minutes; but he rose for the purpose of quoting a great authority in favour of the Jesuits, which might perhaps countervail that of the hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin, and that of the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, which had been so much relied on. The authority he was about to quote was no less than that of Lord Stanley, who was one of the props of the corporation of the Church. Lord Stanley, speaking of the college at Stonyhurst, said, the Jesuits diffused there a useful system of education, and were of the utmost advantage to the neighbourhood. He contented himself with referring to the authority of Lord Stanley on this subject. [An Hon. MEMBER: When was that spoken?] In 1829, upon the very clause they were now discussing; but he did not think that that circumstance took away from the authority. Lord Stanley had had peculiar opportunities of knowing the Jesuits; he was Member for Lancashire, and Stonyhurst was not a very great distance from Knowsley. Under these circumstances he thought the authority of Lord Stanley was not inappropriate. With respect to the Jesuits, it was admitted that the clause was inoperative, and the consequence was that they maintained upon the Statute-book a stigma of no avail to themselves, but wounding to Roman Catholics. He thought it was a reproach to the English criminal law, and a scandal to the criminal code, that Jesuits coming into this country should be liable to transportation for fourteen years. He was, however, less solicitous upon that part of the Bill, and he believed that the Roman Catholics of Ireland were less anxious upon it, than upon that part which did inflict a practical grievance upon them—he meant in the exclusion of Catholics from the Lord Chancellorship 164 of Ireland. As the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin had made on this occasion a speech characterised by the forensic subtlety by which he was so much distinguished at the bar, he would venture to call the hon. and learned Gentleman's attention to the authority of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Upon the appointment of the present Chancellor, he adopted the course of writing to inquire what was the extent of patronage which the Lord Chancellor had in the Church; and this was his answer:—My dear Sheil—In reply to your inquiry as to the patronage of the Lord Chancellor in the Church, I can state to you that the Lord Chancellor of Ireland has not any patronage whatsoever except under an Irish Act, by which he is joined with the Archbishop of the province, the three chief judges" (one of whom, the Chief Baron, was a Roman Catholic), "and the Master of the Rolls, in the patronage of two parishes—St. Andrew's and St. Mark's, in Dublin. He has, in fact, no duty to discharge in relation to the Established Church save that of putting the great seal to the appointments made by the Crown, which being a matter of course"—let hon. Members mark these words—" I know of nothing connected with the office that ought to disqualify a member of the Roman Catholic Church from holding it; and I can sincerely add, that the Roman Catholic bar of Ireland has produced men abundantly qualified to do honour to the seals.He knew not that he could quote a higher authority than that to establish beyond all doubt that the Lord Chancellor of Ireland had no ecclesiastical patronage whatsoever. There was no doubt that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tamworth, in excluding Catholics from the Chancellorship of Ireland, was influenced by the opinion that there was ecclesiastical patronage attached to the office, and it was so stated in a debate on the Roman Catholic Relief Bill. Under those circumstances, was it not an act of common justice to alter the law in that respect? The hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin said, if it could be shown that Roman Catholics laboured under a practical grievance, and no evil could arise to the Established Church, he would consent to the repeal of the law. He had demonstrated that this was a practical grievance, and that, as the Chancellor had no patronage in the Church, the appointment of a Roman Catholic to that office could be no evil to the Church. It was quite clear that the proposition to divide the Bill was, he would not say an unfair, but a party expedient to delay the Bill; and to delay 165 it, in this instance, was clearly a procrastination of right.
MR. HENRY DRUMMOND
could not have mixed so long with Roman Catholic families and with Roman Catholic society—he could not have resided so much in Roman Catholic countries as he had done—without knowing and feeling that there was a most essential difference between the dead Papists of hooks and real live Roman Catholics. He certainly fully admitted the evils they had done in times past; but all whom he had the honour of being acquainted with—and he was intimate with many, and also lived not very far from one of the seminaries of the Jesuits themselves—were as harmless a set of persons as he ever knew in his life. But he rose specially to ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman who had just spoken, one single point. When on a former occasion he brought forward the instance of the cook-boy, as a proof of the obedience required by the Jesuits, it was said that it was merely the obedience that every one should observe. Fortunately for him, everything that he had said on that occasion had been exactly misrepresented in the public papers, and an attack was made upon him why he could he so foolish to talk about Roman Catholics, and not know perfectly well that there was no oath of obedience taken by the Jesuits that was not taken by every Roman Catholic? There was no distinction whatever, and he now held in his hand his own refutation. The hon. Member here proceeded to read a passage from some newspaper, and went on to say that he was quite willing to vote for every practical object to which the hon. and learned Gentleman had alluded. Let every Roman Catholic call himself what he liked—Jesuit or anything else. It was of no use to keep him out under one name, for he would change his name and come in under another directly. Parliament had no more business to make laws about Roman Catholic religious orders, than they had to make laws with respect to the Methodists or other Dissenting bodies.
§ The House divided on the question that it be an instruction to the Committee to divide the Bill:—Ayes 142; Noes 129: Majority 13.
|List of the AYES.|
|Adderley, C. B.||Baillie, H. J.|
|Archdall, Capt. M.||Baldock, E. H.|
|Arkwright, G.||Bateson, T.|
|Bagot, hon. W.||Benbow, J.|
|Bailey, J.||Bentinck, Lord H.|
|Beresford, W.||Mackenzie, W. F.|
|Bernard, Visct.||Macnaghten, Sir E.|
|Blackstone, W. S.||M'Neill, D.|
|Boldero, H. G.||Mahon, Visct.|
|Bolling, W.||Mandeville, Visct.|
|Bourke, R. S.||Manners, Lord C. S.|
|Bramston, T. W.||March, Earl of|
|Bremridge, R.||Maunsell, T. P.|
|Broadley, H.||Meux, Sir H.|
|Brooke, Lord||Miles, W.|
|Buck, L. W.||Moody, C. A.|
|Buller, Sir J. Y.||Morgan, O.|
|Burghley, Lord||Napier, J.|
|Cholmeley, Sir M.||Neeld, J.|
|Christopher, R. A.||Neeld, J.|
|Clive, H. B.||Noel, hon. G. J.|
|Cobbold, J. C.||Oswald, A.|
|Coles, H. B.||Packe, C. W.|
|Colvile, C. R.||Palmer, R.|
|Compton, H. C.||Pennant, hon. Col.|
|Corry, rt. hon. H. L.||Perfect, R.|
|Cotton, hon. W. H. S.||Pigott, F.|
|Cubitt, W.||Plowden, W. H. C.|
|Dick, Q.||Powell, Col.|
|Dod, J. W.||Prime, R.|
|Duncombe, hon. A.||Pugh, D.|
|Duncombe, hon. O.||Rendlesham, Lord|
|Dundas, G.||Repton, G. W. J.|
|Du Pre, C. G.||Richards, R.|
|East, Sir J. B.||Rolleston, Col.|
|Egerton, W. T.||Rufford, F.|
|Estcourt, J. B. B.||Sandars, G.|
|Euston, Earl of||Scott, hon. F.|
|Forester, hon. G. C. W.||Seymour, Sir H.|
|Fox, S. W. L.||Shirley, E. J.|
|Fuller, A. E.||Sibthorp, Col.|
|Goddard, A. L.||Slaney, R. A.|
|Gore, W. R. O.||Smyth, J. G.|
|Goring, C.||Smollett, A.|
|Goulburn, rt. hon. H.||Somerset, Capt.|
|Granby, Marq. of||Sotheron, T. H. S.|
|Greenal, G.||Spooner, R.|
|Grogan, E.||Stanfford, A.|
|Gwyn, H.||Stuart, J.|
|Halford, Sir H.||Sturt, H. G.|
|Halsey, T. P.||Talfourd, Serj.|
|Hamilton, G. A.||Thornhill, G.|
|Hamilton, J. H.||Tollemache, J.|
|Hamilton, Lord C.||Turner, G. J.|
|Harris, hon. Capt.||Tyrell, Sir J. T.|
|Heald, J.||Verner, Sir W.|
|Henley, J. W.||Villiers, Visct.|
|Hildyard, R. C.||Villiers, hon. F. W. C.|
|Hildyard, T. B. T.||Vyse, R. H. R. H.|
|Hill, Lord E.||Waddington, D.|
|Hodgson, W. N.||Walpole, S. H.|
|Hood, Sir A.||Walsh, Sir J. B.|
|Hope, Sir J.||Wawn, J. T.|
|Hotham, Lord||West, F. R.|
|Inglis, Sir R. H.||Willoughby, Sir H.|
|Jones, Capt.||Wodehouse, E.|
|Knox, Col.||Worcester, Marq. of|
|Lacy, H. C.||Wynn, Sir W. W.|
|Lennox, Lord H. G.||Young, Sir J.|
|Lewis, rt. hon. Sir T. F.|
|Lowther, hon. Col.||Law, hon. C. E.|
|Lygon, hon. Gen.||Newdegate, C. N.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Adair, H. E.||Armstrong, Sir A.|
|Adair, R. A. S.||Armstrong, R. B.|
|Aglionby, H. A.||Bagshaw, J.|
|Baines, M. T.||Magan, W. H.|
|Bellew, R. M.||Meagher, T.|
|Berkeley, hon. G. F.||Mahon, The O'Gorman|
|Birch, Sir T. B.||Maitland, T.|
|Blake, M. J.||Marshall, J. G.|
|Bouverie, hon. E. P.||Martin, S.|
|Brotherton, J.||Matheson, Col.|
|Brown, W.||Milner, W. M. E.|
|Buxton, Sir E. N.||Milnes, R. M.|
|Carter, J. B.||Mitchell, T. A.|
|Cavendish, hon. G. H.||Monsell, W.|
|Clay, Sir W.||Morgan, H. K. G.|
|Clements, hon. C. S.||Mulgrave, Earl of|
|Colebrooke, Sir T. E.||Norreys, Lord|
|Craig, W. G.||O'Brien, T.|
|Crawford, W. S.||O'Connell, M.|
|Dalrymple, Capt.||O'Connell, M. J.|
|Drummond, H.||O'Connor, F.|
|Duff, G. S.||O'Flaherty, A.|
|Duncan, Visct.||Pechell, Capt.|
|Dunne, F. P.||Pilkington, J.|
|Elliot, hon. J. E.||Power, Dr.|
|Evans, Sir De L.||Pusey, P.|
|Evans, J.||Raphael, A.|
|Evans, W.||Rawdon, Col.|
|Fagan, W.||Reynolds, J.|
|Fagan, J.||Ricardo, O.|
|Foley, J. H. H.||Rich, H.|
|Forster, M.||Robartes, T. J. A.|
|Fortescue, C.||Romilly, Sir J.|
|Fox, R. M.||Russell, F. C. H.|
|Freestun, Col.||Rutherfurd, A.|
|Gladstone, rt. hn. W.E.||Scholefield, W.|
|Grace, O. D. J.||Scrope, G. P.|
|Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.||Shafto, R. D.|
|Granger, T. C.||Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.|
|Grattan, H.||Sheridan, R. B.|
|Greene, J.||Simeon, J.|
|Grenfell, C. P.||Smith, J. B.|
|Grenfell, C. W.||Somerville, rt. hn. Sir W|
|Haggitt, F. R.||Spearman, H. J.|
|Hanmer, Sir J.||Stansfield, W. R. C.|
|Hastie, A.||Sullivan, M.|
|Hawes, B.||Talbot, J. H.|
|Hayter, W. G.||Tenison, E. K.|
|Henry, A.||Thicknesse, R. A.|
|Hervey, Lord A.||Thompson, Col.|
|Hobhouse, T. B.||Thornely, T.|
|Hodges, T. L.||Towneley, C.|
|Hodges, T. T.||Towneley, J.|
|Hope, A.||Townshend, Capt.|
|Howard, hon. C. W. G.||Turner, E.|
|Howard, P. H.||Watkins, Col.|
|Hume, J.||Williams, J.|
|Humphery, Aldm.||Williamson, Sir H.|
|Jervis, Sir J.||Wilson, J.|
|Keogh, W.||Wood, W. P.|
|Kershaw, J.||Wynn, rt. hon. C. W.W.|
|Lascelles, hon. W. L.||Wyvill, M.|
|Lawless, hon. C.|
|Lushington, C.||Anstey, T. C.|
|Macnamara, Maj.||Arundel and Surrey, Earl of|
|M'Cullagh, W. T.|
§ House in Committee.
§ On the first question in Committee being put,
§ MR. A. STAFFORD moved that the Chairman report progress, and ask leave to sit again.
|List of the AYES.|
|Adderley, C. B.||Hornby, J.|
|Archdall, Capt.||Hotham, Lord|
|Arkwright, G.||Inglis, Sir R. H.|
|Baldock, E. H.||Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.|
|Barrington, Visct.||Knox, Col.|
|Bateson, T.||Law, hon. C. E.|
|Benbow, J.||Lennox, Lord H. G.|
|Bennet, P.||Lindsay, hon. Col.|
|Beresford, W.||Lockhart, W.|
|Bernard, Visct.||Mackenzie, W. F.|
|Blackstone, W. S.||Macnaghten, Sir E.|
|Boldero, H. G.||Mandeville, Visct.|
|Bremridge, R.||Manners, Lord C. S.|
|Broadley, H.||March, Earl of|
|Brooke, Lord||Maxwell, hon. J. P.|
|Buck, L. W.||Meux, Sir H.|
|Buller, Sir J. Y.||Miles, W.|
|Burghley, Lord||Morgan, O.|
|Burroughes, H. N.||Napier, J.|
|Chichester, Lord J. L.||Neeld, J.|
|Cholmeley, Sir M.||Neeld, J.|
|Clive, H. B.||Newdegate, C. N.|
|Cobbold, J. C.||Noel, hon. G. J.|
|Colvile, C. R.||Packe, C. W.|
|Compton, H. C.||Palmer, R.|
|Conolly, Col.||Plowden, W. H. C.|
|Cotton, hon. W. H. S.||Powell, Col.|
|Cubitt, W.||Pugh, D.|
|Davies, D. A. S.||Rendlesham, Lord|
|Dod, J. W.||Repton, G. W. J.|
|Duncombe, hon. A.||Richards, R.|
|Duncombe, hon. O.||Rufford, F.|
|Duncuft, J.||Sandars, G.|
|Dundas, G.||Sibthorp, Col.|
|Du Pre, C. G.||Smyth, J. G.|
|Farrer, J.||Somerset, Capt.|
|Forbes, W.||Spooner, R.|
|Forester, hon. G. C. W.||Stuart, J.|
|Fox, S. W. L.||Sturt, H. G.|
|Frewen, C. H.||Taylor, T. E.|
|Fuller, A. E.||Tollemache, J.|
|Galway, Visct.||Tyrell, Sir J. T.|
|Goddard, A. L.||Vyse, R. H. R. H.|
|Gore, W. R. O.||Waddington, D.|
|Grenall, G.||Walpole, S. H.|
|Grogan, E.||Walsh, Sir J. B.|
|Gwyn, H.||Welby, G. E.|
|Halsey, T. P.||Willoughby, Sir H.|
|Hamilton, G. A.||Wodehouse, E.|
|Hamilton, J. H.||Worcester, Marq. of|
|Hamilton, Lord C.||Wortley, rt. hon. J. S.|
|Harris, hon. Capt.||Wynn, rt. hn. C. W. W.|
|Heald, J.||Wynn, Sir W. W.|
|Henley, J. W.|
|Hildyard, T. B. T.||TELLERS.|
|Hood, Sir A.||Goring, C.|
|Hope, Sir J.||Stafford, A.|
|List of the AYES.|
|Acland, Sir T. D.||Bellew, R. M.|
|Adair, H. E.||Birch, Sir T. B.|
|Adair, R. A. S.||Blake, M. J.|
|Armstrong, Sir A.||Bourke, R. S.|
|Armstrong, R. B.||Bouverie, hon. E. P.|
|Bagshaw, J.||Bowring, Dr.|
|Bailey, J.||Bramston, T. W.|
|Barron, Sir H. W.||Brotherton, J.|
|Campbell, hon. W. F.||Mahon, Visct.|
|Carter, J. B.||Maitland, T.|
|Cavendish, hon. G. H.||Marshall, J. G.|
|Clay, J.||Martin, S.|
|Clements, hon. C. S.||Matheson, Col.|
|Craig, W. G.||Milner, W. M. E.|
|Crawford, W. S.||Milnes, R. M.|
|Dalrymple, Capt.||Mitchell, T. A.|
|Davie, Sir H. R. F.||Monsell, W.|
|Devereux, J. T.||Morgan, H. K. G.|
|Drummond, H.||Morpeth, Visct.|
|Duff, J.||Mostyn, hon. E. M. L.|
|Duncan, Visct.||Mulgrave, Earl of|
|Duncan, G.||Mure, Col.|
|Dunne, F. P.||Norreys, Lord|
|East, Sir J. B.||Nugent, Sir P.|
|Elliot, hon. J. E.||O'Brien, T.|
|Estcourt, J. B. B.||O'Connell, M.|
|Evans, Sir De L.||O'Connor, F.|
|Evans, W.||O'Flaherty, A.|
|Fagan, W.||Paget, Lord C.|
|Fagan, J.||Paget, Lord G.|
|Fitz Patrick, rt. hn. J. W.||Pearson, C.|
|Foley, J. H. H.||Pechell, Capt.|
|Forster, M.||Pennant, hon. Col.|
|Fox, R. M.||Perfect, R.|
|Freestun, Col.||Pigott, F.|
|French, F.||Pilkington, J.|
|Gibson, rt. hon. T. M.||Power, Dr.|
|Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.||Pusey, P.|
|Glyn, G. C.||Raphael, A.|
|Goulburn, rt. hon. H.||Rawdon, Col.|
|Grace, O. D. J.||Reynolds, J.|
|Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.||Ricardo, J. L.|
|Granger, T. C.||Rice, E. R.|
|Grattan, H.||Rich, H.|
|Greene, J.||Robartes, T. J. A.|
|Greene, T.||Romilly, Sir J.|
|Grenfell, C. P.||Russell, F. C. H.|
|Grenfell, C. W.||Rutherfurd, A.|
|Haggitt, F. R.||Sadlier, J.|
|Hanmer, Sir J.||Scholefield, W.|
|Hardcastle, J. A.||Scully, F.|
|Hastie, A.||Shafto, R. D.|
|Hawes, B.||Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.|
|Hayter, W. G.||Simeon, J.|
|Headlam, T. E.||Smith, J. B.|
|Heneage, G. H. W.||Somerville, rt. hon. Sir W.|
|Henry, A.||Sotheron, T. H. S.|
|Herbert, H. A.||Spearman, H. J.|
|Hervey, Lord A.||Talbot, J. H.|
|Hobhouse, T. B.||Talfourd, Serj.|
|Hope, A.||Tenison, E. K.|
|Howard, hon. C. W. G.||Thicknesse, R. A.|
|Howard, P. H.||Thompson, Col.|
|Hume, J.||Thornely, T.|
|Humphery, Ald.||Towneley, C.|
|Jackson, W.||Towneley, J.|
|Jervis, Sir J.||Townshend, Capt.|
|Keating, R.||Turner, E.|
|Keogh, W.||Turner, G. J.|
|Kershaw, J.||Tynte, Col.|
|Langsten, J. H.||Villiers, hon. C.|
|Lascelles, hon. E.||Wall, C. B.|
|Lascelles, hon. W. S.||Watkins, Col.|
|Lawless, hon. C.||Wawn, J. T.|
|Lewis, rt. hn. Sir T. F.||Williams, J.|
|Locke, J.||Wilson, J.|
|Lushington, C.||Wood, W. P.|
|Macnamara, Maj.||Wyvill, M.|
|M'Cullagh, W. T.||Young, Sir J.|
|Magan, W. H.||TELLERS.|
|Meagher, T.||Aglionby, H. A.|
|Mahon, The O'Gorman||Anstey, T. C.|
§ No further progress was made with the Bill before Six o'clock, when the House adjourned.