HC Deb 30 May 1850 vol 111 cc484-7

having presented several petitions from Cork against Ministers' Money, proceeded to express his regret that he had not been in his place when the noble Lord at the head of the Government made a statement in reference to the subject. As some responsibility attached to him (Mr. Fagan) with regard to this question, he hoped the noble Lord would be pleased to repeat what he had stated to the House that evening, and he hoped the noble Lord would also take the opportunity of saying that, if not in this Session, at all events early in the next Session, the Government would be prepared to take up this question. The noble Lord must be aware, that after his announcement that evening, as he (Mr. Fagan) understood it, it would be exceedingly difficult indeed for the protestant clergy in the corporate towns of Ireland to collect the tax. He had the pleasure of showing the noble Lord that evening a letter from a most amiable and respected clergyman of the Established Church, the Dean of Limerick, Dean Kirwan, the son of the celebrated Dr. Kirwan, and from that letter the noble Lord was aware how anxious he was that this tax should be abolished, not only on account of the bitterness and ill-feeling it produced amongst all classes in Ireland, but also on account of the utter impossibility of now collecting it. He hoped also the noble Lord would state that he would adhere to the recommendations of the Select Committee of that House in reference to the question, for any settlement that would transfer the burden from the tenant to the landlord would not answer. It might answer on the tithe question, but it would not answer with respect to ministers' money, because they had it in evidence that the landlords who paid the tax, or the greater part of them, were Roman Catholics. He hoped, therefore, that the noble Lord would state that the recommendation of the Committee would be adhered to. After the statement of the noble Lord, he should ask the leave of the House to withdraw the Motion which he had on the paper for that evening.


said, he had stated on a former occasion, when the hon. Gentleman was not present, that the question of ministers' money was under the consideration of the Government, and that there was a plan by which it was hoped that the grievance would be remedied. The Government intended to Introduce a measure on the subject, and he had no hesitation in saying that it would not be later than the commencement of the next Session when that measure would be proposed.


begged to remind the noble Lord that ministers' money was also collected in Edinburgh and Montrose, and hoped that relief would also he afforded to the parties affected by it.


said, that a report on the subject had lately been presented to the House, and he considered it was expedient that they should have ample time to consider its recommendations, and give their opinions upon it.


was exceedingly glad to find that they were secured from the necessity of entering into one of those unpleasant discussions that generally took place on this subject. He always thought it was a question that should have been taken up by the Government, and was ready to admit there were a great many circumstances connected with ministers' money that ought to be remedied. He sincerely hoped that this long-disputed question would be brought to a satisfactory arrangement.

Subject dropped.