HC Deb 19 February 1849 vol 102 cc905-34

Motion made, and Question proposed— That this House will resolve itself into a Committee on the Oaths to be taken by Members of the two Houses of Parliament.


rose and said: Mr. Speaker, I have risen to bring under the consideration of this House the important subject of the oaths which are required to to be taken by Members of this branch of the Legislature. In the course of the last Session I had the honour of proposing, and the good fortune of carrying, a Bill for the purpose of relieving Her Majesty's Jewish subjects from the disabilities under which they now labour. That Bill was rejected and thrown out by the House of Lords; and it is now my intention to bring the subject more completely under the notice of the House, and to review the oaths that are now administered at the table and necessary to be taken. And if I should be so fortunate as to obtain the consent of the House to go into Committee on the subject, I trust I shall be permitted to bring in, as I did before, the Bill which I have to propose, and to lay the whole scheme before hon. Members. I should state, in the first place, that I do not propose to interfere with, or alter, the present form of the oath administered to Roman Catholics. The form of that oath, after having operated to the exclusion of the Roman Cataolics for 150 years, was deliberately settled in the year 1829—now twenty years ago. The Roman Catholics have since that period sat in this and the other House of Parliament after taking the oath as now framed, and although there still remained some difficulties with respect to the meaning of parts of the oath, still the House and the country in general remain satisfied that the oath is fairly taken and honestly observed. As, then, the taking of that oath accomplishes the two objects of admitting the Roman Catholics to Parliament, and of affording all the security which was desired, I do not propose now to unsettle that part of the question. But if I should ask the House to take into its consideration the other oaths which are taken by Members at the table, I think I can hardly fail in obtaining the consent of those to whom I now address myself, to agree with me in opinion that they do not accomplish the object for which they were imposed. Those oaths are not merely a declaration of opinion, but they define, or are intended as a means of defining, the duties and obligations of Members of this House. For the purpose of being qualified to perform those duties, it is now imperative on Members to take the oaths of allegiance to the Sovereign, and of adherence to the Act of Settlement of the Crown. It may be necessary to impose other engagements, upon which I will afterwards touch; but if it should be found on examination that these oaths do contain matter that is utterly unnecessary, as well as ambiguous, and imposing undue restraint upon a part of Her Majesty's subjects, which are wholly unjustifiable—if the fact on examination prove to be as I describe it, you will, probably, agree with me in considering them to be in so far defective, and that they require reconsideration with a view to their alteration. In considering these oaths I will take them in their usual order, and first draw attention to the oath of allegiance, the form of which is this:— I, A B, do sincerely promise and swear that I will be faithful and hear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria. To that form of oath I entertain no sort of objection. The next oath is that of supremacy, and I shall now ask the House to listen to Lord Edon's opinion as to the origin and purpose of this oath. In discussing the question relative to the admission of the Duke of Norfolk to the office of Earl Marshal of England, from which he had been debarred by the oath of supremacy, Lord Eldon said— With respect to the oath of allegiance that is to be taken by the Duke of Norfolk as Earl Marshal, I, as a lawyer, say that oath contains all that is contained in the oath of supremacy; and I say that the oath of supremacy was added to the oath of allegiance as an explanation, and, as Sir Matthew Hale observes, was passed to unravel the errors that had crept in. Therefore, Lord Eldon, looking to the opinion of Sir Matthew Hale, considered the oath of allegiance to possess all that was expressed in the oath of supremacy, and that it was only in consequence of a misunderstanding of the oath of allegiance that the oath of supremacy was added, in order to assure the country and the Legislature that the oath of allegiance was understood in the true sense in which it was thought to be taken. The form of the oath of supremacy is this:— I, A. B., do swear that I do from my heart abhor, detest, and abjure, as impious and heretical, that damnable doctrine and position, that Princes excommunicated or deprived by the Pope, or any authority of the sec of Rome, may be deposed or murthered by their subjects, or any other whatsoever. [O'GORMAN MAHON: Hear, hear!] There can be no doubt whatever that this part of the oath of supremacy is contained in the oath of allegiance. In fact, I cannot believe that any Roman Catholic within these realms would entertain any doctrine or opinion other than the one expressed in the oath; and it is impossible that any Protestant should not maintain the oath such as he had read it. The oath then goes on to say— And I do declare that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state, or potentate hath, or ought to hare, any jurisdiction, power, superiority, preeminence or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm. Now, it so happens that these words do give rise to doubts which are carried so far in the minds of two or three Members of the House of Lords, that on account solely of the words contained in the latter portion of the oath of supremacy they had refused to take their seats as Peers of Parliament. For my own part, I conceive that the interpretation put by Lord Clan-carty on the oath, respecting which he has written a letter, is erroneous; but, at the same time, I must say that I cannot wonder much at his Lordship's interpretation. All I can imagine to be the purport of the words— —"no foreign prince, person, prelate, state, or potentate hath, or ought to have, any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence, or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm"— is that no such authority is possessed within this realm. But when the Roman Catholics assort that they understand this oath, as I am led to believe they do, to mean that no person has or ought to have any influence, power, or authority over their minds, then, as it is obvious the Pope has considerable influence over their minds, and that his decrees do affect the Roman Catholic bishops hero, in Ireland, and in Scotland, why, in that sense, it cannot be said that the Pope is without spiritual and ecclesiastical authority within these realms. But, Sir, when we come to consider that part of the oath taken by the Roman Catholics which corresponds with that portion taken by Protestants, we find those words:— I, A. B., swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, and that I will maintain the succession of the Crown, as established by an Act intituled 'An Act for the further limitation of the Crown, and better securing the rights and liberties of the, subjects:' and that I do not believe that the Pope of Rome, or any other foreign prince, prelate, person, state, or potentate hath, or ought to have, any temporal or civil jurisdiction, authority, or power within this realm; and that I will defend, to the utmost of my power, the settlement of property within this realm, as established by the laws; and I do make this recognition, declaration, and promise heartily, willingly, and truly, upon the true faith of a Christian. So help me God. Therefore, while you require of the Protestant that he shall declare that the Pope hath no "spiritual or ecclesiastical" jurisdiction, you only require of the Roman Catholic a declaration that the Pope hath no "civil or temporal" jurisdiction. Now, I think it seems to be obvious, if that is a sufficient security to be given by the Roman Catholic, who does pay spiritual obedience to the Pope, and who considers him at the head of the Church, that if this is a sufficient security from a Roman Catholic who is a Member of this House, it is quite sufficient for any Protestant to make the same declaration that the Pope has no civil or temporal jurisdiction in this kingdom. As the matter stands at present, having a jealousy with regard to Roman Catholics, we require them to make a certain declaration concerning the power and authority of the Pope, and having no jealousy with regard to Protestants, we require from them a harsher and more stringent declaration than we exact from the Roman Catholics. And yet, those words which are, as I say, totally unnecessary, which place a guard where it is not required, are those very words which have been found by some noble Lords to oppose difficulties which they think insurmountable, in the way of their sitting as Peers of Parliament, and giving advice as such to the Crown upon the grave and solemn affairs of the nation. I say. Sir, that this would be a reason, even if there should be only one person who had such a doubt, sufficient to justify us in removing that which is obviously an unnecessary security. I come next to the third oath, the oath of abjuration, which, after acknowledging the Queen as the lawful and rightful Sovereign of these realms, goes on to say— And I do solemnly and sincerely declare, that I do believe, in my conscience, that not any of the descendants of the person who pretended to be Prince of Wales during the life of the late King James the Second, and, since his decease, pretended to be, and took upon himself the style and title of King of England, by the name of James the Third, or of Scotland, by the name of James the Eighth, or the style and title of King of Great Britain, hath any right or title whatsoever to the Crown of this realm, or any other the dominions thereunto belonging; and I do renounce, refuse, and abjure any allegiance or obedience to any of them. And I do swear, that I will bear faith and true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, and her will defend to the utmost of my power against all traitorous conspiracies and attempts whatsoever which shall be made against her person, crown, or dignity. And I will do my utmost endeavour to disclose and make known to Her Majesty, and her successors, all treasons and traitorous conspiracies which I shall know to be against her person, crown, or dignity. And I do faithfully promise, to the utmost of my power, to support, maintain, and defend the succession of the Crown against the descendants of the said James, and against all other persons whatsoever; which succession, by an Act, intituled 'An Act for the further limitation of the Crown, and bettor securing the rights and liberties of the subject,' is and stands limited to the Princess Sophia, Electress and Duchess Dowager of Hanover, and the heirs of her body, being Protestants. And all these things I do plainly and sincerely acknowledge and swear, according to these express words by me spoken, and according to the plain common sense and understanding of the same words, without any equivocation, mental evasion, or secret reservation whatsoever. Such is the solemn declaration which every Member makes on entering this or the other House of Parliament. But now, in considering this part of the subject, let us see how that oath arose. When the House of Hanover came to this country, and George I. was king of these realms, there was a prince professing to derive his title from King James II. calling himself King James III., and claiming the crown of this realm as a right. There was also existing at that time a party, a very considerable party, who regarded his claim as superior to that of the king upon the throne: and Parliament, therefore, thought it necessary that every person who took his seat in Parliament should take the oath of allegiance, and should, at the same time, disclaim and abjure the title of the person pretending to be the king of these realms. In the course of time James III., as he called himself, died, and the claim descended to his sons. Parliament then, in the year 1766, declared that his death rendered necessary the alteration of the terms in which the oath of abjuration should be taken, and instead of saying that they abjured the title of James III., they gave the words at present in use, abjuring the title of the descendants of the person pretending to be James III. But that was no doubt as rational a proceeding as could well be. In the first place there was a pretender claiming the throne, and there was a great party ready, and even appearing in arms, in the first year of the reign of King George I. Parliament then in the first instance called upon every man as a matter of security to abjure the title of James III., and then, when he died, they again called upon every person to abjure the title of his descendants. But now, since the year 1807, there have been descendants of the person calling himself James III. Cardinal York, I think, died in that year, and from that time there has not been the least necessity for that abjuration. Therefore, by the solemn oath which we take, abjuring the title of the descendants of a person who has not left any descendants, the title of a family which does not now exist, we are guilty of something very like a mockery; and being now brought under the notice of this House, I think the practice will not be any longer continued. Everybody, of course, knows that if there is any pretence to a title, it must he in the descendants of Charles I. and not of James II.; but, in fact, the title of the Queen is so perfectly well established, that I think it is only necessary to declare our adherence to the settlement of the Crown by the Act which settles it in the present family, and that it is not necessary to abjure the title of any foreign prince. The oath of abjuration ends with these words:— And I do make this recognition, acknowledgement, abjuration, renunciation, and promise, heartily, willingly, and truly, upon the true faith of a Christian. So help me God. Now, Sir, with respect to these words, I argued last year that they were intended as a sanction, and that they ought not to be continued to the exclusion of persons of the Jewish religion who had been elected by the suffrages of any body of constituents. I do not wish at this time to go again at length into that argument. I own it appears to me, after all the debates we had last Session upon the subject, that all the objections resolved themselves into this—that the Jewish subjects of Her Majesty were of a different opinion in matters of religion and conscience from the Roman Catholics and Protestants who might be Members of this House, and therefore that they ought to be excluded. Upon this subject I must again maintain that you had no right to exclude any subject of this realm duly elected, except on the ground that some of their doctrines or opinions were such as to render them unfit to be Members of this House, and incompetent to perform its duties. For instance, with regard to the Roman Catholics it was at one time alleged—I will not stop now to inquire whether truly or falsely—that they were persons with a divided allegiance—that they owed allegiance to the Pope, which made their allegiance to the Sovereign of these realms a wholly imperfect allegiance; that they never would be satisfied with paying obedience to a Protestant Sovereign or a Protestant Government; but that they would be constantly attempting to overturn it, and to introduce the Roman Catholic religion and supremacy into this House. I say I will not enter into that allegation now, but I will give my opinion that if it were proved, it would form a good and sufficient reason for excluding Roman Catholics from this House. So again with regard to the exclusion of Protestant Dissenters, not from this House, but from office; it was alleged that they would use the powers of office for the destruction of the Established Church—that there would be no security for the Establishment—and that they would never cease their endeavours to subvert and destroy it. I say that allegation was of considerable weight when the question under discussion was, whether Dissenters should be admitted to office; but as regards the Jews no man can venture to say that there is anything in their opinions which is hostile to the constitution of this country, or that they would use any power which they possess for the purpose of injuring or destroying our constitution, or still less our monarchy. Well, Sir, if that is so, this comes to be a case of pure unmitigated persecution—the denial of privileges is persecution—a persecution similar in nature to that violent one which led to the faggot and the axe; and it bears this odious feature, that the persons whom you do exclude have no means of enforcing their rights. Exclude the Roman Catholics—attempt to-morrow to do it—and you have, immediately, five or six millions of people in a state of bitter and exasperated discontent. Exclude the Protestant Dissenters, and you have some three millions of people in the United Kingdom who are at once estranged from your constitution and your laws; but, exclude the Jews, and you know perfectly well that you are safe in that exclusion, and that you may enjoy all the triumph and all the pleasure of your persecution, without exposing yourselves to any danger from their discontent. I say, therefore. Sir, that this exclusion, after the admission of Roman Catholics and of Protestant Dissenters, against whom there were plausible, though by no means sufficient, reasons, is peculiarly odious and unjust. Sir, I will now state what it is that I propose to do with the view of amending those laws. I have already stated, with regard to the Roman Catholics, that this matter having been so recently settled, and there being no sufficient reason for the disturbance of that settlement, I propose no alteration whatever. With regard to the other subjects of Her Majesty, I propose that there should be a general oath taken, and I have taken nearly all the words of it from the very able report of the Com-mission which was appointed by Lord Lyndhurst, and the report of which appeared in 1845. That report does not touch upon the question as to previous declaration respecting oaths taken by Members of Parliament. But the oath there proposed is as nearly as possible that which I now propose for the consideration of the House. It is as follows:— I, A. B., swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, and that I will maintain the succession of the Crown as established by an Act intituled An Act for the further Limitation of the Crown, and better securing the rights and liberties of the subjects;' and that I do not believe that the Pope of Home, or any other foreign prince, prelate, person, State, or potentate, hath+, or ought to have, any temporal or civil jurisdiction, authority, or power within this realm; and that I will defend, to the utmost of my power, the settlement of property within this realm as established by the laws; and I do make this recognition, declaration, and promise, heartily, willingly, and truly, upon the true faith of a Christian. So help me God. I propose that to be generally the oath to be taken by Members of Parliament; and I propose, in conformity with the same Acts, that when that shall be administered to a person professing the Jewish religion, the words, "upon the true faith of a Christian" shall be omitted. Now, Sir, it might be a question whether the words "on the true faith of a Christian," should be contained in any of the oaths or not. I own, with regard to any security to be obtained from them, I cannot think that a barrier which did not prove of any effect against the admission of a Bolingbroke, a Gibbon, and a Wilkes, can be looked upon as any very efficient barrier. But I am aware that advantage will be taken of their omission, in order to say that an attempt was made to admit infidels and unbelievers into this House, and that such would be the effect of this measure. I therefore continue these words in the oath. I leave the Roman Catholics exactly on the footing they are at present. I propose that other subjects of Her Majesty should take the oath which I have read; and I propose further, that when any person professing the Jewish religion shall approach the table and ask to take this oath, the words "on the true faith of a Christian" shall be omitted by him. By these means, Sir, I think that the measure of religious liberty will be made complete. All persons being subjects of Her Majesty, and inhabitants of these realms, will have the power of being elected Members of this House, and of taking their seats as the representatives of the people, by whom they are returned. The people will thereby acquire that which they ought to have—the full right of choosing any person whom it may be their will to choose, otherwise properly qualified for a seat in this House. There will be no longer the stain upon us of religious exclusion and intolerance. The saying of King William III., who had learnt the maxims of religious liberty in his native country that "conscience is God's province," will be carried into effect by the oaths to be taken by means of this House. We shall no longer bear the reproach of excluding any persons on account of their religious faith from the privilege of being Members of Parliament. We shall complete that great edifice which of late years it has been the boast of statesmen to endeavour to erect. We may be told, indeed, that there is danger in throwing open our doors so wide. My belief, on the contrary, is that whether you examine the precepts of Christianity or the maxims of the constitution, it is your duty, as it is your policy, to throw open those doors as widely as possible, to place no religious bar of exclusion against any class of persons professing any particular religious persuasions. And in the belief that what I propose to you will clear away ambiguities, remove those parts of the oaths which are unnecessary, and make your whole system defensible and justifiable in the eyes of this country and of the world, I now ask this House to resolve itself into a Committee to consider the oaths to be taken by the Members of the two Houses of Parliament.


said, he was not in the least degree insensible to the importance of the question which the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) had brought under the consideration of the House. The alteration of those statutes by which they had been accustomed hitherto to secure the due execution of their duty by those who were placed in a legislative capacity, could never be other than a matter of serious consideration. With regard to the oath of abjuration, it was certainly open to consideration, and it was not his intention to resist the noble Lord's going into Committee for the purpose of presenting to the House the measure by which he actually proposed to alter or abrogate it; but in giving his consent to this first stage of the measure, he must enter his protest against being supposed to adopt the principles upon which the noble Lord recommended it. He did not intend to discuss the oath of supremacy at that moment; but he presumed that when that oath was under consideration in 1829, good reasons were urged why it should be retained in its then form; and though he did not mean to say that the decision then come to precluded the House from altering it now, yet he must declare that the principle on which the noble Lord proposed to alter it was not one which he was prepared to sanction. The noble Lord said, that if any man had a doubt as to the meaning of that oath, that doubt on the part of an individual would be sufficient to induce him to give it up. He (Mr. Goulburn) could not think that doubts of that limited description could be any justification for the alteration of that oath. The more important part of the noble Lord's speech was that which related to the effect that the proposed alteration would have upon the admission of Jews to Parliament. He wished the noble Lord distinctly to understand that, though not now disposed to oppose the introduction of the measure, he had hi no degree departed from the opinions which he expressed last Session as to the inexpediency of the admission which the noble Lord proposed. He felt then, as now, that the admission of Jews would be derogatory to the character of Parliament, would diminish the salutary authority which it ought to possess over the people of this country—would be productive of serious consequences on the religion of the people at home—and would operate materially against the extension of religion abroad. And whilst he retained that opinion, he could not admit that the individual respectability of the persons whom it was proposed to introduce, formed any just grounds for breaking through an important principle. The noble Lord told us, indeed, to-night in his speech, that the exclusion of any class of persons from Parliament, was in itself persecution; that the denial of these privileges was persecution; and that in the case of the Jews we indulged a pleasure of persecution, because we had no fears with respect to the power of the persons persecuted; but he was surprised when the noble Lord told us that the exclusion of any class, by means of an oath, was persecution, that the noble Lord did not read the very oath which he himself proposed to be taken by Members of this House. The noble Lord retained in that oath the words "the true faith of a Christian;" he did not limit the taking of that oath to the Christian subjects of Her Majesty, but he imposed on every other subject of Her Majesty not being a Jew, be he a Mahometan, or any profession not Christian, the very restriction which he himself said, in the case of the Jew, was absolute persecution; and in proportion as the number of those who might be candidates for Parliament might be diminished, the noble Lord introduced this measure of persecution, and himself indulged the pleasure of persecution. In short, religious liberty appeared to be granted solely to the Jews, while it was denied to all others. As he said before, he did not intend, until the measure was fully before the House, to go into an extended argument; he was only anxious in the outset to deny the persecuting spirit which the noble Lord imputed to those who resisted his Bill, and would take the noble Lord's own measure as a justification for his denial: when the noble Lord talked of religious liberty being complete, how would be answer the statement he had just made to the House? Religious liberty was to be confined solely to the Jew; it was to be denied to every other man, how different soever his opinions might be from those of the Christian community. He confessed he was somewhat surprised that the noble Lord should have thought it necessary, upon his view of the subject, to retain the two oaths which he now proposed for different classes of Members of this House. But he should not pursue the subject. As far as he was individually concerned, he would rather see the measure of the noble Lord, that he might fully understand the bearing of these new oaths, than enter into a discussion on the present occasion; and as the only object he had in view was to enter his protest against some of the doctrines which the noble Lord had laid down, and to state, his determined adherence to the principles which he advocated when the Bill for the Removal of Jewish Disabilities was before the House last Session, he would not, by any lengthened observations, interfere with the House going into Committee, and having before them the terms of the oath, and the regulations under which it was to be administered, which, after all, was the essence of the measure. He hoped the House would carefully consider the effect of the measure which the noble Lord proposed; that if they agreed with him that the introduction of the Jews into this Legislature would be derogatory to that assembly and destructive of its influence, that they would carefully consider the question how far the alteration of the oath, and the terms of it, might be such as to diminish the sense of the obligation. With this view he reserved what he had to say until the measure was brought before the House, and until they had an opportunity of considering it.


was inclined to think that those hon. Members who thought last year that the Bill introduced by the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) for the admission of Jews ought not to be passed, would also now be of opinion that the noble Lord should not proceed with this measure. He was prepared, in this first stage of the Bill, to offer every opposition to the noble Lord, and even to divide the House on this first question, if it were the pleasure of any hon. Members to go into the lobby with him. He would not conceal from himself this truth that there would have been no movement whatever in the matter had not the noble Lord been defeated in another place last year in the Bill which he intro- duced and carried in this House for the admission of the Jews; and, therefore, he said that if this measure were, as he believed it to be, for the admission of Jews into this House, he was disposed to offer his opposition to it in the very first stage. He must confess that, to his ears, the proposal of the noble Lord with regard to the admission of Jews into this House was exceedingly oftensive. He meant nothing personal to the noble Lord; but he did think that the way in which he proposed to admit Jews into the House, and the terms he had mentioned to the House, were exceedingly oftensive to Christians. What did the noble Lord propose to do? He proposed that the Jew should be excused from making use of those words which other Members were to make use of, "upon the true faith of a Christian," and yet the Jew was to be admitted into this House because he could repeat these words, "So help me God." It seemed to be by a trick, by a subterfuge, that the, Jew was to be admitted into this House—that the Jew was to be accommodated at the expense of Him whom Christians venerated. When a Jew used the words, "So help me God," he had no respect to Him whom Christians adored and revered as their God and Saviour. He must say that the proposal was an exceedingly offensive one, from which he shrunk, and one which he trusted would never receive the sanction of Parliament. This was confessedly a religious Parliament. The noble Lord said there would be some risk and danger if you refused your Roman Catholic subjects admission to that House, because there might be seven or eight millions of them. The noble Lord said there might be also some danger if you refused to Dissenting subjects admission; but he said, "you might safely admit Jews, because they were so few." He (Mr. Plumptre), could not help looking at the word "safely," not merely with reference to the safety of the State, but he said that if they took any step by which they might forfeit the favour of Him who was "the Prince of the kings of the earth," "by whom kings reign, and princes decree justice;" if they took a step to provoke His displeasure, they were taking a stop which they could take with anything but safety to the best interests of the country. If any other Member was disposed to view the matter as he viewed it, and divide the House on the first stage of the Bill, he should be opposed to conceding to the noble Lord even the first step of so dangerous a measure.


said, he retained the opinions he had formerly expressed on this subject, which, so far from being changed, had gained greater strength by the interval since it was last discussed. Although this measure made a pretence of treating on oaths in general, it was obviously neither more nor less than the old question. The noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) had just stated that the exclusion of Jews from Parliament was a hateful and odious policy; but what a discovery was that for the noble Lord to make for the first time in the year 1848, when his Colleague was Baron Rothschild! The noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) had said, that the admission of Jews would complete the edifice of civil and religious liberty; but the very oath by which he proposed to accomplish this wonderful temple of freedom was itself a sentence of exclusion against others of Her Majesty's unchristian subjects, who unfortunately did not happen to have secured the suffrages of the citizens of London. He rose more particularly on the present occasion, because he felt bound to enter his protest against this measure at every stage; and he would take another opportunity in the course of the discussion of expressing his opinion upon it. But as the circumstances under which the measure was brought forward were most important, he would ask the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) who had only just told them the nature of the measure, not to urge the House to resolve itself itself into a Committee to take the measure into consideration within half an hour of its being introduced into the House. He thought it was due to the minority that the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) should give them an opportunity of having one night to consider whether they would make such an alteration in the oaths as would lead to the admission of Jews into that House. He asked the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) for that indulgence, though he must frankly tell him that he could not give him any assistance in carrying this measure, neither would be give to it any vexatious opposition; but he would give it every opposition in his power that was not vexatious. He asked the noble Lord to give them one night to consider this resolution, which he believed was not yet six hours old—which the noble Lord had not himself determined on when he rose from his bed that morning. It appeared that the speech of the noble Lord was 'a speech intended to be spoken' in reference to a far more comprehensive scheme than that now hastily presented to the House. It was indeed a most lame and impotent conclusion to the grandiloquent expressions of the noble Lord. Had the noble Lord, in curtailing his measure of its full dimensions, unhappily forgotten to curtail his peroration? The noble Lord had declared that this was a measure intended to relieve all classes of Her Majesty's subjects from religious disabilities; but it resolved itself into one for the relief only of the Jews; for the noble Lord said, that the parties affected by the present oath were so few that they could not resent the injuries inflicted upon them. Yet, notwithstanding those words, it was declared to be a measure for relieving all religious disabilities. He would not detain the House; but the noble Lord had, as he (Mr. Law) thought, indiscreetly (for he could not suppose that he would wilfully) told those who supported the present oaths, that they were the promoters of "a hateful and odious persecution." He did not think the noble Lord ought to have applied those terms to those by whom he (Mr. Law) was surrounded; and he therefore implored the noble Lord to give them time to consider the measure, and state the solemn reasons which induced them to dissent from it. When the noble Lord said ad captandum that he proposed to do away with one portion of the oath, because it had ceased to be of any use for forty or forty-two years, and that, therefore, they ought to go into Committee, he thought that the noble Lord was hardly dealing fairly with the House, its obvious intent only being to admit the Jews. He was sure the noble Lord, whose ability could not be doubted, had not fully considered and matured his measure before introducing it to the House. He (Mr. Law) did not wish to divide the House upon that occasion; but if his right hon. Friend (Mr. Goulburn), who had so solemnly entered his protest against the Bill, and his friends around him, thought it necessary to do so, he was not prepared to say he would not join them. He again asked the noble Lord—who had kept his secret so long and so closely that nobody could possibly guess how comprehensive or how limited it would be—at least to give him, and those who thought with him, one night to consider its import.


did not, of course, intend to vote against the measure of the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell), but he could not help expressing his regret that the noble Lord had not considered the subject of oaths on a larger scale, and introduced a measure by which all those taken by Members of that House could have been reduced to one form. The noble Lord had noticed two or three parts of the oaths taken by Protestants, in which it was stated that the Pope had no spiritual authority in this kingdom; and he (Mr. J. O'Connell) would not attempt to add one word to his lucid explanation of the meaning of that oath. There were words in the Roman Catholic oath which had been made the subject of annoyance and insult to the members of that persuasion. He did not value those insults himself, and if those charges were again made in that House of the Roman Catholics tampering with their oaths, they, as honest, conscientious men, would know how to repel them as they had done before. But what he wanted was that the oath should be so altered as to do away with the war of words. In a few days that important subject was to be brought under consideration relative to which the difference existed as to their oath; and the Roman Catholic Members could not submit to the charge of violating their oaths with regard to the Established Church. In his opinion the noble Lord ought to make one general oath for all Members, though he should not object to the introduction of the present measure. He trusted that the noble Lord and the right hon. Gentleman who had assisted in drawing up the Roman Catholic oath, would be in their places when these bickerings were likely to occur, and would state what interpretation they put on the words of the Roman Catholic oath; and if their interpretation savoured of the charge of violating the oath, which had been attempted to be made against the Roman Catholics, he would acquiesce in their decision, and would resign his seat as a Member of that House.


could assure the House and the hon. Member who had just sat down, that he would not take part in the miserable bickerings to which he had alluded. He (Mr. Bankes) had expected that the right hon. Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. Gladstone) would have risen and given the House his opinion on this measure. He had the more expected it, because his colleague, the hon. Baronet (Sir R. H. Inglis), who was generally to be found in his place on all occasions when any measure affecting the Church was likely to be brought forward, was that evening absent on the bed of sickness. If they, speaking with the authority which belonged to them, had agreed in any respect in the proposition now submitted by the noble Lord, he should have been ready, on this the first occasion of the introduction of the measure, to have bowed to their authority; and although it might have been contrary to his own opinions, on any point involving a question of principle, to admit even the first introduction of a measure to the House, if he had had the high authority of the Members of the two Universities that he should make that acquiescence, he would not have contravened their wishes. He was, however, bound to say, after what had fallen from the hon. Member for East Kent (Mr. Plumptre), to whom he always listened with the greatest attention on all matters affecting the Church, that if he divided the House upon the question, and be was only the second, he would divide with him. It was true that the noble Lord had not put his measure on this subject so prominently forward as he did last year; he had managed to involve it with political considerations of very inferior importance, as he (Mr. Bankes) thought very unnecessarily, as the noble Lord must know that the House would be at all times ready to strike out from the proceedings of Parliament anything not necessary to be retained, or which might appear in its nature unsuitable to solemn occasions. In putting the measure before the House, he would not say the noble Lord had done it unworthily, but he would say that it was hardly worthy of the noble Lord's character—it was hardly worthy of the noble Lord's standing in that House—to overlay the question with other matter only for the sake of argument. He did not object to the noble Lord's historical disquisition with regard to the accession to the Throne. It was true that there was now no Pretender who could claim a right of accession to the Throne, prior to Her present Majesty, as descending from James III.; and of those who might claim as descending from James I., there was only to be found as a claimant from an elder stock, a monarch who, from the course he had pursued in his own kingdom, would no doubt be happy to find a vacant throne anywhere. There was, however, no vacant throne for him in this kingdom, nor was there any reason to fear that there would be a vacancy either for the descendants of James III. or of James I. He said the noble Lord had not acted fairly by the House in calling on it to go into Committee on matters which required no such talents as those of the noble Lord to cover them with ridicule, and mix them up with matters which were felt by a large number of Members upon that side of the House, and a considerable number on the other side, to be of an important nature as regarded the religion of the country. Not only must he (Mr. Bankes) concur with his hon. and learned Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge, when he said that the nature of the proposition to be brought forward had not been understood; but he felt that the House was not so full as it would have been if it had been known what the noble Lord really intended to bring forward; and therefore it was not fair for the noble Lord to ask them without further time for communication with Members now absent from the House, to go into Committee to consider the oath, as now proposed. As far as he (Mr. Bankes) was able to judge of it, the oath, as it was proposed, gave ample security on many points; but he felt that it did not give security on the point which many of his friends considered to be of the first importance—the Established Church. He did find that the security of the Throne was provided for; which perhaps required no oath. He felt assured that the Occupant of the Throne was so enshrined in the hearts of the people as not to require the protection of an oath for the security of the Throne. He also found that the settlement of property was duly provided for; but he believed the noble Lord had omitted those important words in reference to the Church:— I do hereby disclaim, disavow, and solemnly abjure any intention to subvert the present Church Establishment, as settled by law within this realm; and I do solemnly swear that I will never exercise any privilege, to which I am or may become entitled, to disturb or weaken the Protestant religion or Protestant Government. And he would ask, why were those words omitted from the oath? [Lord J. RUSSELL: They are not in the present.] The noble Lord said, they were not in at present. Did he mean that they were to be introduced? [Lord J. RUSSELL: The words are not in the present oath.] The noble Lord said, the words were not in the present oath; but it must be recollected, when that oath was framed none but members of the Established Church were allowed to be Members of that House. It was unnecessary when all the parties who had to take it were members of the Established Church; but though it was unnecessary in the original oaths, when they framed the oath for the admission of the Roman Catholics into Parliament, it was thought necessary that they should be called upon to swear that they would not disturb the Church as by law established. Now, when they were going to admit—if admit they did—those into the House who not only did not profess the doctrines of the Established Church, but professed doctrines altogether adverse to the Christian faith—professed to disbelieve them—professed—it was always under painful and peculiar circumstances that hon. Members had to address the House when they were speaking on points of faith in an assembly so constituted as this is now constituted, most unwilling to give offence, they could hardly speak freely what they felt. He considered it was the duty of any hon. Member, in proposing to carry a measure for altering the oath to be taken in that House, or affording an opportunity for the introduction of parties of another creed, to take care that those who entered the House, if they could not revere, should at least be restrained from destroying, from disturbing, and even from dishonouring the Church. They were now called upon to admit into the House parties who were not only hostile to the Church, but were not even bound to treat it with respect or common decency. He thought it was their duty in case this measure should pass, which would however receive his constant opposition, to introduce an assurance binding, conscientiously, honourably, and honestly, if not religiously, in favour of the Established Church. Under these circumstances, if the hon. Member for East Kent (Mr. Plumptre) was determined to divide the House, he (Mr. Bankes) would readily divide with him, though he was aware that the numbers present were not numerous, and he felt they would be dividing under some disadvantages.


Sir, after the pointed allusion of my hon. Friend the Member for Dorsetshire (Mr. Bankes), I shall not shrink from stating my opinion upon this subject; and as far as regards the main purpose of the noble Lord, I feel bound to say, with my hon. and learned Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge, that my opinions, like his, have undergone no change, unless it is that they have been confirmed by reflection during the interval since the last discussion of this subject. I am, therefore, deliberately convinced that the civil and political claims of the Jew to the discharge of civil and political duties ought not, in justice, to be barred, and cannot beneficially be barred, because of the difference between his religion and ours. With reference to what has fallen from the hon. Member for East Kent, I say, with all due respect, and with the most sincere and cordial respect for him, that, with my views of the propriety of admitting Jews to the Legislature, I think that, in doing so, we do not abandon our duty to the Almighty; but we are acting in strict fulfilment of our duty by giving effect to the principles of natural justice. I think, however, that though the main purpose of the noble Lord, may have that view, yet I put it to the House whether there are not sufficient grounds for going into Committee independent of that main purpose? There are various secondary questions which the noble Lord has introduced to us in respect to the alteration of the oaths taken by ourselves, which, though of far inferior importance compared with the constitutional question raised by the admission of Jews into Parliament, yet are not altogether undeserving of attention and consideration on the part of this House. The alteration which the noble Lord proposes is an improvement, and that improvement is of weight sufficient to justify even those who are most opposed to the admission of the Jews to give their assent to the proposal of the noble Lord to go into Committee. We must all feel that oaths, when they are taken in public by large masses of men, and under associations not very favourable to solemn and religious feelings, have a tendency to degenerate into formalism; and especially is that tendency aggravated by oaths being prolonged beyond the necessity of the case, and by introducing irrelevant matter; while by expunging irrelevant matter, and excluding words which have no rational meaning, we pursue an object about which there can be no difference, and the importance of which is by no means insignificant. It is said, on the highest authority, that our words should be few on all those solemn acts which have peculiar reference to the Deity. I cannot say that our present oaths have no words contained in them apart from the purpose in view. I cannot say that they do not admit of abbreviation, or that they bring before the mind propositions in that lucid, distinct, and intelligible form, with regard to which all oaths having a peculiarly solemn end in view ought to be framed. I, therefore, venture to express a hope, as the purpose of the noble Lord, apart from the admission of the Jews into the Legislature, is a sufficient plea for going into Committee: I put it to hon. Gentlemen that they will be in no respect committed by their assent being given to this proposition of the noble Lord, and allowing the House to go into Committee for the general purpose. With respect to the plan of the noble Lord, I will not now enter into any detailed argument; but I cannot avoid expressing my satisfaction that it differs, in what I think an important position, from a scheme that was announced in the public journals some few weeks ago. I frankly own that I am glad that the noble Lord has retained the words "on the true faith of a Christion," in respect to all Christian Members of this House, considering the solemn duties which we are called upon to perform. I think it is well that we should approach the performance of those duties with something like a feeling of that solemnity; and though I do not deny the integrity of an oath which we might take in common with the Jews, yet I think the noble Lord has acted wisely in declining to reduce that high standard which we have fixed for ourselves. But, Sir, I would venture to make one suggestion to the noble Lord with respect to the oath which he means to propose, and the suggestion I shall make is in the sense of the alteration that he is about to advise. The noble Lord proposes, as I understand, to exclude the words forming the latter clauses of the oath of supremacy, by which Protestants swear that no foreign prince, prolate, person, state, or potentate, hath, or ought to have, any spiritual or ecclesiastical power or authority within these realms. But he proposes to substitute a declaration to be taken by Roman Catholics and by Protestants and Jews, that no foreign prince, prelate, person, state, or potentate, hath, or ought to have, any temporal or civil jurisdiction, cither directly or indirectly, within these realms. Now, I submit to the noble Lord, that he might improve his proposal by leaving those words out altogether. For what use is it that gentlemen who are not Roman Catholics should be called upon to abjure the temporal power of the Pope within these realms? You may find Roman Catholics—there may be some gentlemen professing that religion—at least it is a conceivable case, that there might be Roman Catholics, who think that the Pope indirectly might be entitled to some temporal jurisdiction within these realms; but with Protestants, or any not Roman Catholics, such cannot possibly be the case. Well, then, if that be so, the principle upon which the noble Lord has proceeded, of excluding all irrelevant matter from the oath, ought to carry him as far as the point I now submit to his consideration; and he ought not to call upon any hon. Gentleman, whether Roman Catholic, Protestant, or Jew, to abjure their belief in a temporal power that it is morally impossible they could entertain. The noble Lord tells us that it has been introduced in the nature of a test, and not with a view of giving greater solemnity to the discharge of our duties, or of laying down a higher standard of duty. But the object originally in view was the exclusion of certain parties. Now, it can exclude no Protestant and no Jew; but it does put in their mouths, at a moment when no irrelevant word should be used, words that are neither necessary nor useful for any purpose whatsoever. I thought it necessary, Sir, to make this suggestion at this stage of the proceeding. The noble Lord shall have my support in every stage of this measure. I fear I cannot undertake to speak on the part of my hon. and respected Colleague; but I hope hon. Gentlemen will not debar the noble Lord from going into Committee, and proposing, in the first instance, alterations in certain points of our oaths, in which they are certainly capable of improvement.


, having felt no doubt as to the nature of the oath taken by him at the table, and not having felt any of that embarrassment which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford seemed to think might have confused the understanding of sonic Protestant Members of the House while taking that oath, but having taken it willingly, wittingly, und with a full intention of abiding by it, entertained the greatest objection to the proposal of the noble Lord. What were the characteristics of that proposition? The noble Lord had clubbed together every objection entertained by every small section against this oath, and had framed his proposed oath in such a manner as to gain a transitory applause from these objectors. The noble Lord proposed to alter the oath by remov- ing the declaration made by Protestants, that they do not acknowledge any spiritual authority of the Pope in this country, for the purpose of conciliating the Roman Catholics. He had not been so fortunate as to go the full length proposed by the hon. Member for Limerick—since he had not totally swept away the provisions of the oath which guarded the Church of England from the attacks contemplated by the hon. Member—he had not gone far enough to meet the views of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford, because he had retained in that oath a declaration against the temporal authority of the Pope. Now he (Mr. Newdegate) must say that they had seen much in the present Session to make it necessary to take a test of opinion on that subject; and if any thing could make him understand the support given to the measure—if any thing could elucidate his understanding of that support—it was the proposition made by the right hon. Member for the University of Oxford, that they should cease to deny the right of the Pope to exercise both spiritual and temporal authority in this realm. This indeed threw a curious light upon the support given to this measure by the right hon. Gentleman. Now he (Mr. Newdegate) also wished to make a proposal to the noble Lord. He thought the terms of the Motion had been altered since the noble Lord spoke, and he asked the noble Lord to consent to the adjournment of the House, in order that they might have the advantage of knowing how the oath and the resolution were intended to stand. He thought the noble Lord ought to consent to this suggestion, in order that they might know what they were debating about. He did not wish, on the present occasion, to enter more fully into the subject; but he must say that he felt strongly with the hon. Member for East Kent, that retaining the words "on the true faith of a Christian," in the oath to be taken by Protestants, and allowing those words to be omitted by others, did seem to bear the appearance of a mockery; and he would say that if they did strike them out for any, they ought to strike them out for all, for they had no right to impose them if they did not impose them upon all. There was no ground for not trusting the honour of Protestants as much as the honour of Jews. If the House of Commons was to cease to be a Christian assembly, let the avowal be made at once. The oaths taken by Protestant and Christian Members, would be binding without those words. They did not need the repetition of that test to secure the observance of the condition of those oaths; but they did prize them highly as characterising that House the Christian representative assembly of a Christian country, and would defend them to the last. They did not think the name cited, when they pledged themselves on their true faith as Christians, a matter of indifference. Was not the whole faith of the Christian centered in a name? What did their hopes rest upon but a name? They did trust, therefore, that that name would not be removed from the profession of the State, at least they would do their best to defend it. The hon. Member concluded by moving that the House do now adjourn.


said, that the noble Lord had grounded his introduction of the measure upon the desire to do natural justice to the Jew; but the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford had gone further, and it seemed that in his view, as well as in his own (Mr. Drummond's), they were required to do natural justice to the Jew by returning to natural religion. There appeared to him to be considerable discrepancy between the speech of the noble Lord, and the conclusion to which he had come; and that gave him some doubts as to the course which ought to be followed upon that occasion. He believed, with hon. Gentlemen opposite, that there was much in the oaths taken by Members that would be better left out; but, as it appeared to him, the present question was nothing more than the old Jew Bill again. Whatever might be the overture, the prelude by which the piece was introduced was just a simple rechauffée of the old fish. But if the noble Lord were really desirous of going into Committee of the House, he (Mr. Drummond) thought it would be a matter of very great convenience not to divide upon the question.


(who was called upon by Mr. Bankes and several hon. Gentlemen near him not to press the question of adjournment) asked the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) to read the amended oath, as he intended to propose it, and the resolution as it stood.


The Resolution which I shall propose on going into Committee is— That it is expedient to alter the oaths re- quired to be taken by the subjects of Her Majesty not professing the Roman Catholic Religion, as qualifications for sitting and voting in Parliament, and to make provision in respect of the said oaths for the relief of Her Majesty's subjects professing the Jewish Religion. Upon that Resolution I shall be enabled to bring in a Bill; and the oath which I intend to propose is that which I read in an early part of the debate. There will be a provision for striking out the words "on the true faith of a Christian," when the party to whom the oath so tendered is a member of the Jewish persuasion.


suggested to the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) the propriety of asking the House merely to go into Committee pro formâ, for the purpose of laying his Resolution on the table of the House, and taking the discussion thereupon on some future day.


If I should adopt the suggestion of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Walpole), I should not have an opportunity-of laying the proposed oath before the House. In a Committee pro formâ, I should only have an opportunity of proposing, in general words, that it is expedient to alter the words of the oath, and make provision for persons professing the Jewish religion. My object, certainly, would not be gained by merely going into Committee pro formâ.; I wish at once to lay the whole measure before the House.


said, the House had now before it, according to the statement of the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell), two distinct propositions—one, that a formal alteration should be made in the oath; the other, that a substantial alteration should be made in the oath, which alteration involved a fundamental principle. Now, he (Mr. Walpole), for one, felt that if the vote they were going to give was to be considered an admission of that principle, they ought not to be called upon to make such admission; and although he came down with the intention of acquiescing in any general proposition for the purpose of considering the nature of the oaths taken by Members, he felt, after the discussion which had taken place, not only the greatest unwillingness, but, he might almost say, the moral impossibility of consenting to such a course. The House would observe that the noble Lord pro-posed the alteration in the oath upon three grounds—that some parts are superfluous, that some parts are unnecessary, and that other parts are unduly restrictive. Now, he (Mr. Walpole) quite concurred with the noble Lord in thinking that some parts of the oath were superfluous, some were unnecessary, and in other respects it was inappropriate to the time in which we live, because they had survived the circumstances which originally gave rise to them. Let him add one word as to the substantial part of the proposition. He would not enter into the general question now. But he thought when the right hon. Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. Gladstone) put it on the ground of natural justice, he would have done well to consider whether there was not still, and whether there had not been always, a broad distinction between political rights and political duties. And before the discussion should again come on, he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would pause and reflect, whether the rights which the people of this country possessed, both to the protection of the law and the support of the law, he they Jews or he they Christians, necessarily gave them those political privileges which also involved political duties—since those duties, according to the principles established in the constitution, could only be performed in a Christian State by those who were bound by a Christian obligation. He would only trouble the House with one other remark. He had hoped that the noble Lord would not have thought it necessary to renew this discussion—to reopen a question which had been fully discussed and deliberately settled only nine months ago; and that too in the very same Parliament as that which it was now submitted to again. He (Mr. Walpole) felt this the more strongly, because he had always understood that it was a wise policy on the part of the Government not to hazard upon slight grounds a collision or disagreement between the two Houses of Parliament. He had also understood and felt this more strongly than anything else—that it was a still wiser policy on the part of the Government not to offend or in any way do violence to the religious convictions of the great mass of the people. Both these considerations were, in his humble judgment, most unhappily disregarded on the present occasion; for no one could doubt, that if the noble Lord were to carry his resolution, he would, at all events, run the risk of that disagreement which was so much to be deprecated; and no one could doubt, moreover, if he had inquired into this subject during the recess, that it would give a painful shock to the feelings and opinions of a great many people—he did not mean the ignorant and unintelligent, but some of the best and ablest men, who regarded this question in no other light than as a national violation of our Christian principles. [The O'GORMAN MAHON: Hear, hear! and a laugh.] Notwithstanding the laugh of the hon. Member for Ennis, he would say that he (Mr. Walpole) had in his mind's eye, when using that phrase some of our best and ablest men, whose names he could quote if desired to do so; and if the hon. Gentleman had referred to their works on both sides of the question, as he had done, he would have seen that some of these good and able men did really regard it—and now he would use a still stronger phrase—as a national renunciation of our Christian character. He (Mr. Walpole) owned that he had been carried away further than he intended; but he trusted that the House would be of opinion that there was nothing in the observations which he had ventured to offer that called for a laugh. This he must add, that if the religions convictions of many persons in this country were not to be regarded, and the laugh he had heard when alluding to the subject were again repeated, then instead of this being, as it was called, an unmitigated case of persecution against the Jews, his opinion was that the persons who had most need to be apprehensive of persecution were those who belonged to the Church of England.


I had hoped that, as the House after repeated discussion, agreed last year to that which the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Walpole) states to be the only point upon which a difference could arise this year—namely, the removal of the Jewish disabilities—I should have been allowed to introduce the Bill, and that the discussion would have been reserved for some future stage of the Bill. All I can do at present is, to propose that the House should go into Committee. If the House is pleased to go into Committee, I should then propose this resolution, and put it into the hands of the Chairman. H' the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Walpole) or any other Member of this House might think it necessary to raise a discussion upon that resolution, and to make that the question upon which they are disposed to resist the proposition that I shall make, I should then certainly not propose to go further into that discussion on the present occasion. Sir, the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Walpole) has, however, not confined himself to the simple question of whether or not the House should resolve itself into Committee for the purpose of having the resolution submitted to them; he has expressed his surprise that I should stir this question after it had been mooted, and, as he says, settled nine months ago. Sir, that is not the way in which I have understood the constitution of this country. I had thought that if, for example, the question for taking away some of the Roman Catholic disabilities had been passed by this House, and rejected by the other House of Parliament, yet that no Member of the House of Commons would consider himself bound by that decision—he would not consider the vote of the House of Lords irrevocable and irreversible—one which it was impossible for the House to rescind. We know that the House of Lords at length passed the Bill for the relief of the Roman Catholics, although previously rejected. I myself took part in a measure of the greatest importance—namely, the Reform Bill; it was carried by large majorities in this House, but when it arrived in the House of Lords it was rejected. Why, if there is any truth in the hon. Gentleman's (Mr. Walpole's) doctrine, we ought then to have sat down contented—that the question of reform was settled—that it was settled that there should be no reform of Parliament, and we should not have ventured during the Administration of Earl Grey again to disturb the question. Sir, I say again, that with respect to that question, and with respect to general questions, though they have been once rejected by the House of Lords, yet, with all due deference to the House of Lords, we may again ask them to reconsider a question; and they, in the full exorcise of their undoubted right, may reconsider that question, and they may give their affirmative or negative to such question. But that the decision of the House of Lords once made should be binding for ever on this House, and that we never should bring forward such a question again, although it may seem to the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Walpole) a correct mode of proceeding, is one to which I can never submit, and one which I conceive would reverse the whole practice of the House. Having said thus much in justification of the course I have pursued, I can only say that I am sorry if any term I may have used should have been offensive to any hon. Gentleman. I used them as agreeing with my own notions of the policy that ought to be pursued, and not with the intention of applying to hon. Gentlemen the character of "persecutors," and certainly not with the intention of giving offence to any hon. Gentleman. I have only now to add, that I shall resist the Motion for adjournment, and to express my wish that the Motion for going into Committee may be adopted.


intimated that he would withdraw his Motion for adjournment.

Whereupon, Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn:"—Motion, by leave, withdrawn:—Main Question put:—The House divided; Ayes 214; Noes 111: Majority 103.

List of the AYES.
Abdy, T. N. Dunne, F. P.
Adair, R. A. S. Ebrington, Visct.
Aglionby, H. A. Ellice, E.
Anson, hon. Col. Ellis, J.
Anson, Visct. Elliot, hon. J. E.
Anstey, T. C. Enfield, Visct.
Armstrong, Sir A. Evans, J.
Arundel and Surrey, Earl of Evans, W.
Ewart, W.
Bagshaw, J. Fagan, W.
Baines, M. T. Ferguson, Col.
Baring, rt. hn. Sir F. T. Ferguson, Sir R. A.
Barron, Sir H. W. FitzPatrick, rt. hon. J.
Bass, M. T. Fitzwilliam, hon. G. W.
Bellew, R. M. Foley, J. H. H.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. Forster, M.
Berkeley, C. L. G. Fortescue, C.
Bernal, R. Fox, R. M.
Birch, Sir T. B. Fox, W. J.
Blewitt, R. J. Freestun, Col.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Gibson, rt. hon. T. M.
Boyle, hon. Col. Gladstone, rt. hon. W. E.
Bright, J. Glyn, G. C.
Brocklehurst, J. Grace, O. D. J.
Brotherton, J. Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.
Brown, H. Grattan, H.
Bunbury, E. H. Greene, J.
Butler, P. S. Grenfell, C. P.
Buxton, Sir E. N. Grenfell, C. W.
Callaghan, D. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Campbell, hon. W. F. Grey, R. W.
Cardwell, E. Grosvenor, Earl
Carter, J. B. Haggitt, F. R.
Cavendish, hon. C. C. Hallyburton, Lord J. F.
Cavendish, hon. G. H. Hardcastle, J. A.
Clerk, rt. hon. Sir G. Hastie, A.
Clifford, H. M. Hastie, A.
Cockburn, A. J. E. Hawes, B.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Hayter, rt. hon. W. G.
Cowan, C. Headlam, T. E.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Heathcoat, J.
Craig, W. G. Henry, A.
Crawford, W. S. Heyworth, L.
Crowder, R. B. Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J.
Cubitt, W. Hobhouse, T. B.
Dashwood, G. H. Hodges, T. E.
Davie, Sir H. R. F. Hollond, It.
Dawson, hon. T. V. Howard, Lord E.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hon. C. T. Howard, hon. C.
Duff, G. S. Hume, J.
Duncan, Visct. Humphery, Ald.
Dundas, Adm. Jackson, W.
Jermyn, Earl Ricardo, O.
Keppel, hon. G. T. Rice, E. R.
Ker, R. Rich, H.
Kershaw, J. Robartes, T. J. A.
Kildare, Marq. of Romilly, Sir J.
King, hon. P. J. L. Russell, Lord J.
Labouchere, rt. hon. H. Russell, hon. E. S.
Langston, J. H. Russell, F. C. H.
Lemon, Sir C. Rutherfurd, A.
Lewis, rt. hon. Sir T. F. Salwey, Col.
Lewis, G. C. Sandars, J.
Macnamara, Maj. Scholefield, W.
M'Gregor, J. Scully, F.
Mahon, The O'Gorman Seymour, Lord
Maitland, T. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Mangles, R. D. Shelburne, Earl of
Martin, J. Slaney, R. A.
Martin, C. W. Smith, J. A.
Martin, S. Smith, M. T.
Matheson, A. Smith, J. B.
Matheson, Col. Somerville, rt. hon. Sir W.
Maule, rt. hon. F. Spearman, H. J.
Melgund, Visct. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Milner, W. M. E. Stanton, W. H.
Moffatt, G. Strickland, Sir G.
Monsell, W. Stuart, Lord D.
Morgan, H. K. G. Sullivan, M.
Morris, D. Sutton, J. H. M.
Mowatt, F. Talfourd, Serj.
Mulgrave, Earl of Tancred, H. W.
Muntz, G. F. Tenison, E. K.
Norreys, Lord Thicknesse, R. A.
Norreys, Sir D. J. Thompson, Col.
Nugent, Lord Thompson, G.
Nugent, Sir P. Thornely, T.
O'Brien, J. Towneley, J.
O'Brien, T. Townshend, Capt.
O'Connell, J. Vane, Lord H.
Ogle, S. C. H. Vivian, J. H.
Osborne, R. Waddington, D.
Owen, Sir J. Ward, H. G.
Paget, Lord C. Watkins, Col. L.
Paget, Lord G. Wawn, J. T.
Palmerston, Visct. Westhead, J. P.
Parker, J. Willcox, B. M.
Pearson, C. Williams, J.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Wilson, J.
Peel, F. Wilson, M.
Pigott, F. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Pilkington, J. Wood, W. P.
Pinney, W. Wortley, rt. hon. J. S.
Power, N. Wyld, J.
Powlett, Lord W. Wyvill, M.
Pusey, P. Young, Sir J.
Rawdon, Col. TELLERS.
Reynolds, J. Tufnell, H.
Ricardo, J. L. Hill, Lord M.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Brooke, Lord
Adderley, C. B. Buck, L. W.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Christy, S.
Arkwright, G. Clive, H. B.
Bankes, G. Cabbold, J. C.
Bennet, P. Cole, hon. H. A.
Bentinck, Lord H. Coles, H. B.
Beresford, W. Compton, H. C.
Bernard, Visct. Corry, rt. hon. H. L.
Blair, S. Currie, H.
Blandford, Marq. of Davies, D. A. S.
Boldero, H. G. Deedes, W.
Bourke, R. S. Dod, J. W.
Bramston, T. W. Drumlanrig, Visct.
Drummond, H. Meux, Sir H.
Duncombe, hon. O. Miles, P. W. S.
Duncuft, J. Miles, W.
Dundas, G. Moody, C. A.
Du Pre, C. G. Morgan, O.
Edwards, H. Mullings, J. R.
Egerton, Sir P. Napier, J.
Estcourt, J. B. B. Neeld, J.
Farrer, J. Newdegate, C. N.
Ffolliott, J. Newry and Morne, Visct.
Floyer, J. Ossulston, Lord
Forester, hon. G. C. W. Pakington, Sir J.
Fox, S. W. L. Palmer, R.
Gooch, E. S. Plowden, W. H. C.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Prime, R.
Granby, Marq. of Raphael, A.
Greene, T. Renton, J. C.
Gwyn, H. Repton, G. W. J.
Heneage, G. H. W. Richards, R.
Henley, J. W. Rushout, Capt.
Hildyard, R. C. Seymer, H. K.
Hildyard, T. B. T. Sibthorp, Col.
Hodgson, W. N. Simeon, J.
Hood, Sir A. Spooner, R.
Hope, Sir J. Stafford, A.
Hope, A. Stanley, E.
Hotham, Lord Stuart, H.
Jocelyn, Visct. Stuart, J.
Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H. Taylor, T. E.
Jones, Capt. Thornhill, G.
Knox, Col. Tollemache, J.
Legh, G. C. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Lindsay, hon. Col. Turner, G. J.
Lockhart, A. E. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Lockhart, W. Verner, Sir W.
Lopes, Sir R. Waddington, H. S.
Lowther, H. Walpole, S. H.
Macnaghten, Sir E. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Mandeville, Visct. Wellesley, Lord C.
Manners, Lord G. Wodehouse, E.
March, Earl of TELLERS.
Masterman, J. Law, hon. C. E.
Maxwell, hon. J. P. Plumptre, J. P.

House in Committee.


in the chair; Motion made and Question proposed— That it is expedient to alter the oaths required to be taken by the subjects of Her Majesty not professing the Roman Catholic religion as qualifications for sitting and voting in Parliament, and to make provision in respect of the said oaths for the relief of Her Majesty's subjects professing the Jewish religion.

The question having been put,


said, he understood the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) had no wish to proceed further to-night. A division was not expected, and had come upon them with surprise. He hoped, therefore, the noble Lord would consent to the Chairman reporting progress.


had no wish to proceed further that night if the hon. Gentleman objected.

Committee report progress.

House adjourned at half-after Twelve o'clock.