§ Order for Committee read.
§ House in Committee; Mr. Bernal in the chair.
§ Clause 2.
§ MR. WALPOLE
said, he promised on Friday to state the course he intended to pursue with respect to certain Amendments he had to propose. In this he felt some embarrassment: for he wished to support the noble Lord as far as he could in passing this measure, hut at the same time he wished to make the Bill as complete as he could, and as effectual for his purpose, before it went through Committee. He had in consequence given notice of Amendments, all of which he considered to he right in themselves, and some of which were absolutely essential for the success of the measure. Feeling this, he could not consent to give up these Amendments, unless some strong countervailing reason was shown to induce him to do it. Two 366 reasons had been assigned. One was, that the declaratory clause, or, as the hon. Member for Dublin called it, the Walpole clause, had given almost all he asked for, in effect; and, therefore, it was unnecessary to press these Amendments since that clause had already been carried. The other reason had been intimated by the noble Lord at the head of the Government. The noble Lord said that when Members who were friendly to the passing of the Bill, saw the various delays and impediments which were thrown in the way of its progress through Committee, they ought not to add to that delay, or increase those impediments. He was strongly of opinion that both these reasons ought to have great weight with him—so much so, that he thought it right, in the little leisure which he could spare from business to reconsider the whole subject, and having done so, to state to the Committee what Amendments he should feel it his duty to press, and what Amendments he should consent to waive. The conclusion to which he had arrived was this: that having obtained the declaratory clause, which, to his mind, was of more importance than anything else in the Bill, and fearing to impede the progress of the Bill through Committee, he should propose nothing but what he believed was really essential to its proper working. Now, he thought three things were essential for this purpose. In the first place, he considered it was absolutely essential to the proper working of the Bill that it should clearly lay down, define, and point out the constitutional principles on which the Legislature intended to proceed. For that reason they must look to the preamble. Since the debate on Friday last he was more convinced than ever that the supposed ambiguity in the declaratory clause existed rather in the minds of its opponents than in the clause itself. No ambiguity would there be found if the preamble which it hung upon was so framed as to lay a proper foundation for it. When, therefore, they came to that part of the Bill, he should press on Government the propriety of altering the preamble, which was introduced, to a considerable extent, so that it should be a key to open clearly the mind of the Legislature as well with reference to the declaratory clause, as also with respect to the other—to provisions with which that clause had no immediate connexion. That point he should press. The second point, which he thought essen- 367 tial, particularly after the long and painful discussion which had taken place in the course of the present Session, was, that the measure should be framed in such a manner as to prevent as far as possible the necessity of future legislation. They had declared the Papal Brief of 1850 illegal and void; and if they were wise they would then prohibit any similar Brief for a similar purpose coming into this country, since such a Brief would be equally unlawful, and it might occasion a similar excitement. Consequently he should propose in the second clause of the Bill, to introduce a provision making it penal for any person to bring into England, or to put in use, any bulls, briefs, or other rescripts of a similar character, and subjecting the person so offending to the same penalty as the Government Bill applied to the assumption of titles. He would state before he came to the end of his observations the exact words he proposed to introduce in the second clause. The third point which he thought essential to the proper working of the Bill was, that if they passed a law of this kind at all, care should be taken and provision should be made for its due enforcement; for it should not be allowed to slumber on the Statute-book. For his own part, he would rather have no Bill at all, than a Bill which it was not intended to enforce. Either the measure was just or unjust. If unjust, it ought not to be passed into a law; but if just, then it behoved them to take care that it was obeyed. That raised the question as to how the law, assuming this Bill to become the law, was to be enforced, in case it should be broken. The Government proposed that to the Attorney General alone should be left the power to prosecute for the penalty. He (Mr. Walpole) had suggested that any individual should be at liberty to do so. He thought both courses open to objection. The Government plan was clearly open to objection, because by it the country would have no guarantee that this measure would be made an operative measure any more than the Act of 1829. On the other hand, he could not but feel that leaving to anybody the right of prosecution might make the measure an instrument of oppression. They all knew that there were persons who were eager and warm partisans—enthusiastic individuals with more zeal than discretion—who might be induced to prosecute under the Bill if they had the power to so, but who would institute that prosecution with too much haste, or on 368 insufficient grounds, and thus defeat the object of the measure. If that were so, two great difficulties had to be dealt with. They were all agreed that the principle upon which we ought to proceed was, the enforcement of the law, but that in enforcing it it should not be made either vexatious or oppressive. He thought the suggestion of the hon. and learned Member for Abingdon (Sir F. Thesiger) would meet this objection. The hon. and learned Gentleman proposed that the Crown as well as the subject should both be enabled to prosecute for the penalty. The effect of that would be that the Crown as well as the subject would both of them have the power, as both of them would have the interest, to see that the law was properly observed; and this would meet the requirements of the case by ensuring at once the enforcement of the law, without making it at the same time either oppressive or vexatious. If the Attorney General should slumber at his post—he did not think his hon. and learned Friend would be liable to that imputation—the subject would exercise his right to prosecute, and such prosecution could only be stopped by the veto of the Attorney General on any proceedings which he deemed unadvisable. So, on the other hand, if the subject was acting in a vexatious manner, the veto of the Crown would be interposed directly to prevent the possibility of anything like oppression. He believed he had explained the greater portion of the Amendments he had given notice of, with the exception of one to which the noble Lord opposite (Lord John Russell) alluded at the conclusion of the debate on Friday. The noble Lord had then asked him what he meant to do with regard to cumulative penalties. He did not think there were any cumulative penalties in any of his Amendments, though a power was proposed to be given to the Crown of deporting a person for the second offence. Now there were great difficulties—he might say there was great imprudence—in any individual proposing such an Amendment as that, if the Government—with whom rested the responsibility of seeing that the laws were properly observed—should think such an Amendment was uncalled for and nnnecessary. Considering, therefore, that the responsibility was with the Government—considering it was better to prevent, if possible, the repetition of these and similar encroachments by mild prohibition, rather than by severe and op- 369 pressive punishments—and considering also that some credit ought to he given to Roman Catholics, that if the Bill passed into law they did not intend to disobey it, he had, speaking for himself alone, come to the conclusion that he ought not to press the penalty of deportation. Of the three points, therefore, of which he had given notice, only one was now before them. The House having declared the Brief illegal, they ought, in his opinion, to prohibit the introduction of like Briefs under penalties similar to those that were imposed for the assumption and use of ecclesiastical titles. For that purpose he proposed to insert after the words "any person," the following words—shall hereafter obtain or cause to be procured from the said See or Bishop of Rome, or shall publish or put in use any Brief, Rescript, Letters Apostolical, or other instrument or writing, for the purpose of constituting within the kingdom of England a hierarchy of bishops named from sees, and with titles derived from places belonging to the Crown of England.The consequence would be that if any person did such an act, he would subject himself to the same penalties as if he had assumed ecclesiastical titles.
§ MR. WALPOLE
said, it was nearly the same Amendment that was printed, and before the Committee. Instead of saying as in the Amendment that was printed "for the purposes aforesaid" he had specified the purposes by bringing into the clause the words of the preamble which he was going to propose, namely, "for the purpose of constituting within the Kingdom of England a hierarchy of Bishops," &c.
The ATTORNEY GENERAL
felt sure that there was one point on which they should all be agreed, and that was, that the hon. and learned Member was influenced by a bonâ fide desire to make the Bill as effective as possible. But it appeared to him, while giving the hon. and learned Gentleman credit for a sincere intention to make the Bill as effective as possible, without rendering it unnecessarily oppressive or offensive, that the proposed Amendment was open to great objection; for, though the hon. and learned Gentleman professed not to have the design to make the penalty cumulative, the Amendment in point of fact would have that operation. The hon. and learned Gentleman 370 proposed to enact, that "if any person should hereafter obtain or cause to be procured, or publish or put in use," &c. Now, those words carried with them a cumulative penalty; for under them if any person should put in use any brief or rescript referred to in the preamble and in the first clause, he would be liable to the penalty of 100l. Therefore, supposing a Roman Catholic ecclesiastic should receive from the See of Rome a brief or rescript appointing him bishop of some diocese with a territorial title in this country, he would be liable to a twofold penalty in consequence of the adoption of this provision, because he would be liable, first, for accepting the brief, and, secondly, for assuming the title; though in reality it was one and the same transaction. The real offence was the assumption of the title conferred by a foreign Power, and it was against that that the Bill was directed; but inasmuch as that title could only be assumed in consequence of some brief from the Papal See, would they not, by the proposed provision, be building upon one transaction, which ought to constitute but one offence, two offences, and inflicting two penalties? Therefore it appeared to him that the Amendment created a cumulative penalty. True, if one could imagine the person obtaining the brief being distinct from the party assuming the title, that might be said to be two distinct offences; but in framing an information against an individual for assuming the title, if a brief authorising the assumption were adduced, he, as Attorney General, should feel bound to put both the counts into the information. He did not think that the House would desire a proceeding of that kind, and they were bound to believe, and he was satisfied that when they made known to the Roman Catholic subjects of Her Majesty what the law was, and that the transgression of the law would be a great offence, that that would be sufficient in itself to prevent a repetition of the aggression of which they had cause to complain.
§ MR. ROCHE
said, as he found two lawyers differed very materially as to the effect of this Amendment, he thought his proposition reasonable that the Amendment should be printed. The tendency of the Amendments of the hon. and learned 371 Member for Midhurst was to make bad worse, that was, to make the Bill more stringent; and he should therefore move that the Amendment be postponed with the view of its being printed.
said, it was not competent for the hon. Member to move the postponement of the Amendment.
said, that it was competent for the hon. Member who proposed an Amendment to postpone it if he thought fit, but he never remembered an instance of another hon. Member moving the postponement of an Amendment.
§ MR. STUART WORTLEY
had hitherto abstained from taking part in the discussion on the present measure, not from indifference as to its importance, or doubt as to the necessity of legislation, but because, knowing as he did the overwhelming opinion of that House in favour of legislation on the subject, he thought he should best aid the success of the measure by leaving to the Government, as far as possible, the management of legislation on the subject. He agreed with the hon. and learned Attorney General, that it was impossible to ascribe the course taken by the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst to any other motive than a desire to render the Bill effective, without making it oppressive; and with the same feeling he was also anxious to support the proposed Amendment. After listening most attentively to the hon. and learned Attorney General's argument, he could not concur in the opinion he had expressed; for his speech had clearly shown that instead of there being, by the adoption of the Amendment, a cumulative penalty for one offence, there would be two offences, and a penalty attached to them. To receive a rescript conferring a territorial title, and to assume the title so conferred, was one offence; and the Bill, as it is at present framed, would visit that offence with a penalty. But if an ecclesiastic, of an ambitious turn of mind, were to solicit a Brief from Rome, with a view to his own promotion, that would be another offence, and one totally distinct from the first; and against that offence the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst was very properly directed.
§ MR. MOORE
said, that though the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst called his Amendment a simple one, yet the lawyers, it appeared, differed respecting it, and in order to give time to understand it, 372 he should be obliged, although unwillingly, to move that further progress be postponed, and that the Chairman report progress.
§ SIR ROBERT H. INGLIS
According to the strict rule of the House, it was not necessary that any of its proceedings should be printed. For the sake of the general convenience of the House, however, any Member who had an important proposal to make, did give notice in print of his intention. The present discussion, however, had arisen upon a misconception. It was assumed that the Amendment now proposed added something to the clause, instead of which it diminished its operation, and removed certain words. His hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Walpole) proposed to take the sense of the Committee on nothing but what the Committee had already before them. The Committee could not therefore be said to be taken by surprise, and, such being the case, the argument of the hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. Moore) was of little value.
§ SIR FREDERIC THESIGER
trusted the hon. Member for Mayo would not press his Amendment for reporting progress, because it appeared to him that the Irish Members—if he might be pardoned the expression—ought to be the last persons to resist the alteration proposed, for the Amendment pointed merely to the kingdom of England. In the early stages of the Bill the Government declared their intention to extend the Bill to Ireland, and to have the law uniform. His Amendment proposed to exclude Ireland from its operation, which was a step in the direction of the course suggested by the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. S. Crawford), who had a notice on the paper of a Motion the object of which was that Ireland should be altogether exempted from the operation of the measure. He had ventured to propose an Amendment, extending the Bill to all Rescripts, similar to that of the 29th September, but had given way, in the belief that the suggestion of the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst (Mr Walpole) would effect the object he had in view. He had, however, reserved to himself the right of proposing the Amendment 373 in the Report, in case the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst should not be successful with his Amendment. The hon. and learned Gentleman, by restricting his Amendment to England, had so changed the character of it, that though he approved of it as far as it went, he must fall back on his right to propose his own Amendment on the bringing up of the Report.
§ MR. MOORE
said, the Irish Members had no wish to obstruct the Bill. They wished to understand that which he did not think the English Members—if he also might be pardoned the expression—cared much about understanding. After the different statements they had heard, he was not sure that the hon. and learned Solicitor General would not get up and tell them that the Amendment had quite another meaning than that which had been given to it. As he did not wish to obstruct the progress of the measure, he should withdraw his Motion for reporting progress.
§ MR. TORRENS M'CULLAGH
said, when they were discussing a law applicable to England, and the principle of which might be extended to Ireland, it behoved them to know exactly the position in which they stood. He would, therefore, ask the Chairman whether the Amendment was applicable to the United Kingdom or England only?
§ MR. TORRENS M'CULLAGH
wished to know from the hon. and learned Solicicitor General what was the signification of the phrase "the Kingdom of England?" He had heretofore been under the impression that there was an Act of Union between the two countries. If so, why was England mentioned as if a separate kingdom? Did the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst mean that his Amendment should only have effect in the Kingdom of England, as he called it, or that it should extend to Ireland as well? If he meant to exclude Ireland, would he introduce a special provision to that effect?
§ COLONEL RAWDON
wished to know from the Chairman whether it was not contrary to order to introduce matters into the Bill which were at variance with and contrary to the title? The Bill purported to relate to the United Kingdom, and was it not at variance with the title now to legislate expressly for the Kingdom of England?
said, the words "United Kingdom" were large and comprehensive, and if the House should limit the operation of a particular clause to a portion of the United Kingdom, that was not a departure from the title, and would not require a previous instruction from the Committee.
§ MR. WALPOLE
said, that he had always stated throughout this discussion that there were two particular matters with which they had to deal. The one was the encroachment on the prerogative of the Crown by sending the Rescript into England, and the other was the assuming of the titles. The preamble of his Bill stated that—Whereas the Bishop of Rome, by a certain Rescript or Letter Apostolical, purporting to have been given at Rome, has pretended to constitute within the Kingdom of England, according to the constitution of the Church of Rome, a hierarchy, with sees and with titles derived from places belonging to the Kingdom of England;"—Then came the declaration that that Rescript was void; and then came the provision, that if any person should bring in a Brief or Rescript for the purpose of constituting a hierarchy within the Kingdom of England, he should be subject to a penalty. The Committee would, therefore, sec that his preamble, his declaratory clause, and his enacting clause, were connected. If the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dundalk (Mr. M'Cullagh), however, objected to the words, "the Kingdom of England," he had not the slightest objection to make the clause to run, "in that part of the United Kingdom called England."
§ MR. TORRENS M'CULLAGH
said, what he was complaining of was that they did not understand what they were doing.
The ATTORNEY GENERAL
said, the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst (Mr. Walpole) was involving himself and the Committee in most egregious inconsistencies if the clause were to pass as it stood. The Bill was a Bill for the United Kingdom; and the first clause, adopted at the hon. and learned Member's suggestion, was to declare that a proceeding of this description, a Bull or Brief of this character, was of itself illegal and void; the second clause declared the assumption of titles of sees taken from the names of places not only to be illegal, but to be liable to a penalty: and that applied to the United Kingdom. Well, then, surely it was an inconsistent thing to say that the assumption of titles should be subject to a 375 penalty in the United Kingdom, but that the bringing in of a Brief should only be an offence in England. He thought it was not worth while to add an additional penalty.
§ SIR FREDERIC THESIGER
said, he never understood his hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor General to say that a penal provision which applied to England would apply also to Ireland. What he understood his hon. and learned Friend to say was this—he was pressed by the hon. Member for the University of Oxford (Sir Robert Inglis) with an apparent inconsistency in the measure proposed by Government, by adopting the declaration of the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst, and applying that declaration to the establishment of a hierarchy in England; upon that he understood his hon. and learned Friend to say that, if the question arose in Ireland in regard to a similar Rescript, the Judges would feel themselves bound, not as in the case of a penal provision, which was a different thing, but by the legislative declaration of what was the law. He believed that the Judges in Ireland, if the question came before them, would decide upon the matter under the old statutes rather than the proposed one. He did not, however, think it necessary to go into that point. It had been considered that the clause proposed by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Midhurst would create additional difficulties to those which now existed in considering this subject. But no such additional difficulties would, in his (Sir Frederic Thesiger's) opinion, exist, because the Judges in Ireland would act upon the statutes of Richard II., and the Act of Elizabeth, which were not proposed to be repealed, and, therefore, the difficulty anticipated would not arise. He, however, agreed with the hon. and learned Attorney General that it would appear that the object of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Midhurst appeared inconsistent with the objects of the Bill as applied to Ireland and England, and that if the Amendment were carried, it might be supposed to apply to Ireland as well as to England.
§ MR. TRELAWNY
said, that the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Midhurst (Mr. Walpole) had laid down the principle that the supremacy of the Crown had been attacked by the introduction of the late Papal Rescript; and the hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli), while he said that 376 persecution might take place under the Bill, he, for one, could not consent to make any difference in legislating on the subject between England and Ireland. Under these circumstances, it did appear to him (Mr. Trelawny) singular that the proposition of the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst should have been made to the Committee.
§ MR. WALPOLE
said, the main question they had to consider was a national and imperial one, and as such it was considered that the Bill should apply to both countries. He did not, however, see any danger of the clause which he proposed creating any difficulty as applying to Ireland, and in his own mind no such ambiguities presented themselves as appeared to be anticipated by the hon. and learned Attorney General, in case of the adoption of the clause.
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
said, he did not think the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Walpole) had answered the objections that had been made by his hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General, and by the hon. and learned Member for Abingdon (Sir F. Thesiger). He could understand very well that the Committee, having before them a Rescript or Letter Apostolic founding bishoprics in England, or pretending to found then, should declare that that Rescript was illegal and void; but the present clause was of a totally different nature, and he thought when the hon. and learned Gentleman, instead of taking a specific Act, applied the clause to putting in force hereafter any Rescript or Letters Apostolic within the kingdom of England, when he proposed to make that an offence, he distinctly made a difference between England and Ireland. However, his objection to the proposed Amendment was a far more general one. This clause was framed on the Act of 1829. That Act said that the assumption of any title of sees derived from provinces or sees existing by any Roman Catholic archbishop or bishop should be an offence, and a penalty was awarded. In the present clause they proposed to extend that enactment not merely to prohibit titles taken from the names of sees, but from any place within the United Kingdom. The enactment was perfectly plain, and they did not propose to go beyond the spirit of the Act of 1829. What the hon. and learned Gentleman proposed was to create a new offence. His Amendment did not resemble the Act of 1829, but resembled some of our old laws. For his (Lord John Russell's) part he did 377 not wish to do anything more than was necessary to meet the case; and therefore he should object, not only to this Amendment, but to any Amendment of a similar spirit.
§ MR. WALPOLE
said, all he wanted was that in case anything of the kind came into the country again, they should have the same remedy against the person publishing the Brief, as they had against the person assuming the title.
§ MR. NAPIER
would suggest to his hon. and learned Friend not to press his Amendment; as if ever there was a time when it was necessary to have uniformity of practice, it was when they wereeng aged in legislating on a great constitutional principle.
§ MR. STANFORD
said, the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst (Mr. Walpole) had conducted himself all through that discussion with so much moderation, discretion, and judgment, that though differing in religious belief from many hon. Members around him, he had never heard one of them impugn that hon. and learned Member's character or conduct. He (Mr. Stanford) confessed he had not been able distinctly to understand some of the points involved in the particular questions under discussion; and he thought the hon. and learned Member for Athlone (Mr. Keogh), and other hon. Members who thought with him, had a perfect right to demand a full explanation from the Government of that system which they proposed carrying out for the satisfaction of the Protestant people of this country. No man was more opposed than he was to the ascendancy of the Court of Rome in this country, but he had a kindly feeling towards his Roman Catholic fellow-subjects, yet he would say that they never should have any ascendancy of any kind, Popish or Protestant, in this country, which was not founded on sound reason and argument. He had listened with great attention to all the speeches which had been delivered in the course of that debate—particularly those of the law officers of the Crown. All parties had agreed that there was no intention in pursuing that legislation to interfere with the free action of the religion of their Roman Catholic fellow-subjects; and he did sincerely believe that there was not an hon. Member on his side of the House who would not join in that sentiment. But in legislating upon that subject they had many and serious matters to take into consideration. They had to consider, as he had done, the statute of Richard II., and the 13th of Elizabeth, and 10th 378 George IV., cap. 27. And having given all these various Acts full consideration, they should weigh how far the present position of the Roman Catholics was affected by the existing law, and how far it might be affected by the proposed Bill. By the 9th and 10th Victoria, these missives of the Pope were illegal, and we did not therefore require any new legislation to declare that they were so. What had offended this country was the assumption of titles and the parcelling out of the kingdom into dioceses; and the right hon. and learned Master of the Rolls had stated that that could not be prevented except by recurring to obsolete statutes. Neither the Government nor any Protestant Member of that House wished to interfere with the religious or spiritual affairs of the Roman Catholics, but merely to prevent the assumption of territorial titles. Taking into consideration the whole of the law as it now stood, it appeared to him that there was no possibility of meeting the case unless some fresh measure were enacted. The people wanted a law to prevent the Pope giving dignities or jurisdiction to the subjects of our Sovereign. If hon. Members were prepared to follow the honest and open line of policy which the country expected from them, then they would adopt the clause proposed by the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst (Mr. Walpole). But lie could assure them that no sinistrous course—however dexterous it might be—would give satisfaction to the public. He (Mr. Stanford) should support the Amendment.
§ SIR ROBERT H. INGLIS
said, that the particular edition of the Bill which they had now in their hands contained one offence to which one punishment was affixed; but the Bill of his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Walpole), as originally introduced to the House, specified three offences and three punishments, in all of which he (Sir R. Inglis) cordially and thankfully concurred. He therefore regretted to find that the hon. and learned Gentleman not only proposed to omit altogether the first and third offences, but in the punishment for the second he proposed to leave out all mention of what he (Sir R. H. Inglis) believed to be the most important part, namely, deportation. There were objections even to that portion of his measure, which the hon. and learned Member (Mr. Walpole) had expressed an intention to retain; for the hon. and learned Gentleman proposed to make a distinction between 379 that which applied to England, and that which applied to Ireland—a distinction which he (Sir R. H. Inglis) feared there was the germ of a different legislation for the two countries. He therefore thought that the hon. and learned Member, in justice to himself and to those who placed so much confidence, and deservedly so, in his talents, his legal acquirements, and, above all, his principle, should, instead of now pressing his Amendment to a division, endeavour to draw up a new clause not open to these objections. Even if he was not prepared to adhere to his original proposition, it would be much better for him to take time to frame it in a less exceptionable manner.
§ MR. WALPOLE
said, he could not help feeling that his hon. Friends on his side of the House did not wish him to press this Motion. Now, he was unwilling to do any thing contrary to their better judgments; but he hoped, if he did not press the Committee to a division, that neither the Government nor the country would find, as he feared they would, another Brief like this come from Rome into this country, when they would be more awkwardly situated even than they now were.
§ MR. HORSMAN
said, that the Committee was not dealing with this question as it ought to do. He hailed the proposal of his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Walpole) with great pleasure. He had been found fault with for making a distinction between England and Ireland; but that, in his (Mr. Horsman's) opinion, was the greatest merit of the Amendment. To apply the same principle of legislation to a Roman Catholic and a Protestant country, was not only absurd but impossible. The religion of Ireland was a great fact that we could not shake—legislation could not change it. They ought to be allowed to have their own religion and their own bishops; and it was folly, or something worse, for it amounted to persecution, to put restrictions on their intercourse with their spiritual head. His hon. and learned Friend went on the ground that we were legislating with the Pope's Brief, in which Ireland was not mentioned, and therefore should not be mentioned in this Bill. The Government Bill, and that of the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst, endeavoured to attain the same object by different means. The Government Bill did not mention the Pope or the Brief, but struck merely at the titles, while the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for Mid- 380 hurst struck directly at the Brief and its consequences. So far both parties were consistent. The first change was made by the Government, by substituting the pro-amble of the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst for their own, and referring to the Brief which thus became the groundwork of legislation. Consistently with this, they adopted the first clause of the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst. Then came the second clause, and the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst was quite consistent in saying that penalties should be attached to the Brief, and that penalties should attach only in England. It was inconsistent of the Government if they now refused to adopt that clause. They proposed to attach penalties to something that was quite distinct from, and unconnected with, the Brief. The noble Lord at the head of the Government said he did not wish to legislate beyond what the occasion required; and the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst said that he wished to legislate in such a manner as would do away with what was complained of, and place the Roman Catholics in the same position that they were in before. That would be the effect of the Amendment; but the clause of the Government included the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, who were not appointed by the Brief, and had no connection with it. Thus, because the Pope had done something insulting to us in England, we were to put an end to the ancient hierarchy of Ireland. The great mistake had been in confounding the act of the Pope with that of the Roman Catholics of Ireland, who were entirely innocent of the matters. That part of the Bill which referred to titles would be unnecessary were this Amendment carried; and he should have moved for the omission of the words relating to titles if it had been consented to by the Committee. The Government Bill allowed the bishops to have all their old organisation and influence, and merely touched the titles, which ought not to have been mentioned at all in such general terms. He could understand hon. Gentlemen objecting to any legislation at all on the subject, or supporting the original Bill of the Government; but he could not understand how they could assent to the preamble and first clause of the hon. and learned Member (Mr. Walpole), and tack to it the tail of the Government Bill. He had not given a vote for the other clause of the Bill, because, after hearing 381 the explanations that were given of it, he must confess he had not the courage to do so. The Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst did not go out of its way to exclude Ireland, nor did it go out of its way to include it; but the Bill of the Government did go out of its way to include it, and he should, therefore, give his support to the Amendment.
§ MR. SCULLY
wished to ask the hon. and learned Attorney General whether this would be the result of this clause, that, in case any person should receive a Brief into this country, by which Roman Catholic bishops might be nominated to dioceses in England, would he incur the penalties mentioned in it? Two penalties, as he understood, were proposed—one for receiving the Brief, and the other for assuming the titles. Might not that be applied to the receipt of the Briefs of the Pope in Ireland? He had warned Her Majesty's Government that this was a subject not worthy of legislation. It would have been well for the people out of this House who had by their clamour caused this legislation, if the Bill had been in the hands of Members on his side of the House. Then a consistent course would have been taken. Now, hon. Members on one side of the House were bringing on one Bill, and hon. Members on the other side were trying to introduce another, and between the two they made a sad jumble of it. On one day the Government had an understanding with the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst, and on another day they were opposed to him. But they were not prepared to come forward and boldly state the measure they wished to carry out. They ought to postpone the consideration of the Bill until they had really decided what course they meant to pursue.
§ MR. REYNOLDS
wished to know whether all the Amendments of the hon. and learned Member wore withdrawn?
§ MR. WALPOLE
said, he had stated his intention with regard to his other Amendments at a previous part of the evening.
§ MR. KEOGH
said, the hon. and learned Member had just departed from the intention he had before expressed, by giving up this Amendment. He hoped it would now he admitted that time might be consumed by other persons besides those who sat near him. The hon. and learned Member for Midhurst had spoken four times on this proposition, the hon. and learned 382 Member for Abingdon (Sir F. Thesiger) twice, and the hon. and learned Attorney General two or three times.
§ MR. TORRENS M'CULLAGH
rose to move the Amendment of which he had given notice. The first case to which he wished to direct the attention of the Committee was that of the recognition by the Court of Chancery in Ireland of the title of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, and Primate of Ireland, in a document dated the 25th of April, 1846. At that time the seals in Ireland were held by Sir Edward Sugden; and it was superfluous to do more than to mention the name of that eminent Judge, as he felt certain that anything that bore the semblance of his authority would be received with the attention to which it was so justly entitled. In 1845, the Charitable Bequests Act had been passed, and the preamble of that Act contained these words: "Whereas it is expedient that the pious intentions of charitable persons shall not be defeated by the concealment or misapplication of their donations or bequests to public or private charities, be it enacted," and so forth. Now, Sir Edward Sugden proceeded in a suit that was raised before him to direct the Master to make inquiry into who should be the proper trustees in the case of certain property which had been left in the town of Drogheda, and which, under the old corporation of that town, had been applied exclusively to Protestant purposes, but with reference to which certain Roman Catholic inhabitants of Drogheda thought they were entitled to the opinion of the Court of Chancery as to whether the resources in question should not be devoted in common to Protestant and Catholic purposes. The Master found, after inquiry, that the property was properly applicable, without regard to sect, to the children of the poor in that locality, and he proceeded in his report, which was dated 11th of January, 1846, to name eight Catholics and eight Protestants to be trustees of the common fund. That draught report contained, among other expressions, these, which he thought were remarkable. The first person to he appointed under the great seal of Ireland was "the Most Rev. Dr. Crolly, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, and Primate of Ireland." To that report, the case being litigated, exceptions were made, and it came on for hearing before Sir Edward Sugden, who affirmed the whole of Master Henn's report, and, he believed, awarded costs. In 383 the course of two years after, Archbishop Crolly died, and application was made before the present Lord Chancellor of Ireland to fill up the vacancy thus occasioned. He held in his hand a copy of the report made by the same Master, and in that occurred these still more remarkable words, "The Most Rev. Paul Cullen, D. D., Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, and Primate of Ireland." It had been stated in the course of the debate on this Bill, that this Italian monk had been sent over to this country, and had the high dignity conferred upon him which he now possessed contrary to the regular usage of the Roman Catholic Church. Now, what were the facts? It was perfectly well known that Dr. Curtis, who was formerly Archbishop of Armagh, had never been elected by the clergy; and, unless he was very much misinformed, Dr. Kelly had never been elected, so that three were nominated, and only one (Dr. Crolly) elected to the office. And this was the great casus belli, the great infringement of the Pope upon the rights of the Roman Catholic clergy. It might be said that the decision of Sir E. Sugden was not had upon the specific point to which he now directed attention. He admitted that, because he believed it was thought at that time that this titular question would never again be raised; but the fact of Sir E. Sugden's having the question distinctly before him, the titles being set forth in ipsissimis verbis, and his not objecting to it, showed pretty clearly that that eminent Judge did not think it his duty to question their right to those titles judicially. He would now call the attention of the Committee to another case. The Most Rev. Dr. M'Hale, in his capacity of Archbishop of Tuam, was the legatee of a gentleman who left a considerable sum of money for charitable purposes in the dioceses of Dublin and Tuam; and, in that case, letters of administration were granted to Dr. M'Halc, in the Prerogative Court of Dublin, under the title of "John, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Tuam," and that in the name of his Grace the Lord Primate of Ireland, the Protestant Archbishop, who was the head of the Court. He did not mean to attribute this recognition directly to the Protestant Primate, but the letters bore the seal and signature of the Chief Judge of the Prerogative Court. In that case a dispute took place with regard to the property, and it was necessary for Dr. M'Hale to make an affidavit before a Master in Chancery, 384 which he signed "John, Archbishop of Tuam." The present Master of the Rolls in Ireland, a privy councillor and a member of the Charitable Bequests Board, was eventually called upon to adjudicate in the case, and upon that affidavit made by Dr. M'Hale, as Roman Catholic Archbishop of Tuam, he awarded costs to Dr. M'Hale, without taking exception to the title. He (Mr. M'Cullagh) would only mention one more case. The Rev. Dr. Cantwell, Roman Catholic Bishop of Meath, was trustee for certain charitable funds which the testator intended by his will to be administered by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Meath and his successors for ever; and Master Litton, to whom the case was referred, felt it his duty to declare that the property vested in the Most Rev. Dr. Cantwell, as Roman Catholic Bishop of Meath, and the persons who might be his successors as bishops of the diocese. He (Mr. M'Cullagh) thought, then, he was entitled to assert that, by the proceedings of the superior courts in Ireland, the rights of bishops of Roman Catholic sees in that country had been, at all events, tacitly acknowledged, and that they had been recognised as persons clearly entitled to come before the Courts for protection. He wished, therefore, by his Amendment to ask the Committee to determine whether they were prepared to set aside a series of decisions of the Irish Courts, and to declare that these acts of the Judges in that part of the kingdom had been direct violations of the law, and of their duty.
In page 2, line 26, after the words 'by law,' to insert the words, 'or who shall have been recognised as Roman Catholic Archbishop of any Province, Roman Catholic Bishop of any Diocese, or Roman Catholic Dean of any Deanery, by any of Her Majesty's Superior Courts of Law or Equity.'
§ MR. NAPIER
said, that on every point of the question, especially as far as it related to Ireland, it was important they should see their way clearly, because an attempt had been made to confuse the state of the law as regarded Ireland, and induce the belief that there was a difference between the law of the two countries, and also to induce the people of Ireland to believe that what that House was now engaged in was a species of crusade against them and their religion, whereas they were only employed in upholding the constitutional independence of the country. 385 When he heard the right hon. Baronet the Member for Ripon (Sir James Graham) the other night telling them that they were declaring war against 8,000,000 of Her Majesty's subjects, at a time when they were only explaining the law of the land, he must confess that he listened with pain and indignation to the right hon. Baronet's observations. He challenged the right hon. Baronet to show that there was any difference between the law of the two countries, or that, in any part of this legislation, from first to last, they were interfering with any rights, by law established, of any of Her Majesty's subjects, in any part of the world. The hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. M'Cullagh), in his Amendment, spoke of the Roman Catholic archbishops, bishops, or deacons who shall have been recognised as such by the superior Courts of law and equity, and he quoted some cases to prove his assertion. He (Mr. Napier) was surprised that there had not been an attempt made to show that the Common Law Courts had also recognised the titles in dispute; but before he would enter into that question he would admit that the only case in Ireland that would be touched by this new legislation would be the single one of Galway, and the Act did not create it an offence to assume the title of Bishop of Galway, because that was an offence before; it only annexed a penalty to what was already an offence. With respect to what had been said about letters of ordination, marriage certificates, and the like, and their being put in evidence in certain cases, in all his experience he had never known an instance but one of the kind, and that was a case of a marriage certificate. But with reference to the cases he had referred to as occurring in the law courts, one was an application to the Court of Queen's Bench in 1827 by a priest, who had become a Protestant, for a mandamus to compel Dr. Murray to give him letters of ordination, in order that he might prove his title, and be enabled to accept a benefice in the Established Church. Chief Justice Bushe, a man of the most marked courtesy, delivered a written judgment, and throughout he called the Roman Catholic bishop Dr. Murray, and never used his episcopal designation. On a later occasion the exact point at issue was distinctly raised before Mr. Justice Jebb. A bequest was made to a Roman Catholic bishop and his successors. The heir at law brought an ejectment on the title on the death of the 386 bishop, and he succeeded, the Court holding that the bequest of a bishop was valid, but that it did not recognise the official character of his successor. Thus, then, they had the Court of Queen's Bench in Ireland, on two occasions, clearly laying down what was their view of the law. But what was the opinion of the Roman Catholic prelates themselves on the question of titles? In the year 1830, writing to the Bishop of Exeter, Dr. M'Hale said—Keep then your titles and your palaces. As for your titles, leaving the vain ambition of such baubles to your Lordship and the Gentiles, we shall be content with the more Christian office of ministering to the spiritual wants of those over whom we are appointed.In the case (Murray v. Darcy) referred to by the hon. and learned Gentleman Mr. M'Cullagh), the testator bequeathed 37,000l. for the support of a nunnery to Dr. Murray, Archbishop of Dublin, and Dr. Kelly, Archbishop of Tuam, and their successors. There were codicils to the will which gave the residuary legatees the power of appointment. Dr. Kelly died, and Dr. M'Hale, who succeeded him, did not become a legatee in his character of successor; but Dr. Murray and the three other trustees joined together, and appointed him by name; and in the affidavit which he made before the Master, he signed himself only "John M'Hale." With respect to taking out letters of administration, there was no law to prevent them appending these titles by way of description. The only other case was that which was said to have been passed by Sir Edward Sugden, as Lord Chancellor of Ireland. But Sir Edward Sugden stated in a letter, that he never saw that case; it came before the Master, who made no objection to it, nor would he (Mr. Napier) under the circumstances. But reference had been made to the Charitable Bequests Act, as if that had altered the whole character of the law. Why, what did the right hon. Baronet the Member for Ripon say when he introduced that Act? His words were—"I have demurred, and I still demur, to any archbishops or bishops taking titles from any localities or districts in Ireland." He held in his hand a book written by a Roman Catholic barrister, which referred to the Charitable Bequests Act, and declared that the rights which the Roman Catholic bishops exercised could be so exercised without acknowledging them to be bishops of any 387 particular diocese; and also that the Charitable Bequests Act made no alteration in their status. And yet it was said that it amounted to a declaration of war against Her Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects when they were called upon to pass a defensive Bill; and in so doing, he said that they could make no distinction between England and Ireland. He denied that the Roman Catholics in England were entitled to less liberty than the Roman Catholics in Ireland, or that the Protestants of Ireland were entitled to less protection than the Protestants of England. If they made any such distinction, he asked them what kind of a United Kingdom were they to have?
§ MR. REYNOLDS
had often had the pleasure of hearing the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Napier) in the superior Courts in Dublin; but, he should say, he had never seen him hold such a bag of briefs as that which he displayed on the present occasion. Indeed, the hon. and learned Gentleman might be said to be leading counsel for the united branches of the English and Irish Churches. His speech was made up of extracts from wills, Judges' charges, and legal decisions, with an attack on the right hon. Baronet the Member for Ripon. Now, in the speech of that right hon. Baronet, he (Mr. Reynolds) saw nothing, calculated to provoke the "pain and indignation" of the hon. and learned Gentleman who had just sat down. The right hon. Baronet had truly said that this measure was a declaration of war against 8,000,000 of Roman Catholic subjects of the Queen, and that it was a declaration of war against the religion of the people of Ireland. He (Mr. Reynolds) asserted that if the Bill became law in its present shape, it would be impossible to exercise the Roman Catholic religion either in England or Ireland without the permission of the Attorney General. Though he was prepared to support the proviso now before the House, yet he should declare that it was both narrow and contracted. The first clause was similar to the postscript of a lady's letter—it contained the Bill, the whole Bill, and nothing but the Bill. It was a, hostile measure—a declaration of religious war against the people—a measure of Protestant ascendancy, intended to promote the spread of the religion of the minority. The hon. and learned Member for Midhurst had said that his object in withdrawing his Amendments was not to waste time; hut three hours had been lost 388 in discussing a proviso which, at length, had been withdrawn. His reason for not pressing his deportation or transportation clause was, that he believed the Roman Catholics would not violate the provisions of the present Bill, if passed. He (Mr. Reynolds) could assure the Committee, from acquaintance with the sentiments of the Irish Roman Catholic archbishops, bishops, and priests, that if they passed any law calculated to obstruct the free exorcise of the Roman Catholic religion in Ireland, that law would be treated as so much waste paper, and the Roman Catholic people of Ireland would, like their ancestors, be ready to sacrifice their lives rather than allow any law to cripple the operation of the Roman Catholic religion.
§ MR. J. O'CONNELL
said, that the hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Napier) had laid great stress on some chance words which some of the Irish Roman Catholic bishops had used in addresses and other documents, and had insisted that the denial of the territorial titles would not cripple in anywise their spiritual functions. But, if the context of these chance words had been read, he believed it would be found that they would not bear out the interpretation put upon them by the hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin. He wanted to know why he would not lay equal stress upon the deliberate and written words of the Master in Chancery, recognising those prelates by their territorial titles? Moreover, it should be recollected that these words were used immediately after the passing of the Roman Catholic Emancipation Act, when, of course, the Roman Catholic bishops were congratulating each other on the triumph achieved. Things were very different at present. The declaration now before the Committee revived the old persecuting Acts, and gave them pungency and effect. The Protestants of Ireland, he was happy to say, had not joined in the miserable clamour which had been disgracing England during the last few months; and though the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Tuam cared nothing for distinctive titles, he would, nevertheless, if this Bill were passed, assert his rights.
§ SIR WILLIAM VERNER
said, the hon. Member for the city of Dublin (Mr. Reynolds) had assured the Committee that if the Bill were passed, it would be opposed by the Roman Catholics of Ireland. This had been so frequently repeated that hon. Members would very probably begin at last 389 to suppose that there were no persons in Ireland but Roman Catholics. The fact, however, was far otherwise. Ireland contained about 5,000,000 of Roman Catholics, and 2,500,000 of Protestants. If this Bill became the law of the land, the Protestants of Ireland would support it. They had done so before, and they would do so again. They had ever been found the staunch supporters of the constitution, and the rights of their Sovereign. Much had been said about the loyalty of the Irish Roman Catholics; but could they be called "loyal" when the noble Lord at the head of the Government, acting, as in this case, for the protection of the rights of his Sovereign and the independence of the realm, was dared and defied to pass this measure? Was the whole business of the country to be stopped by a minority amounting to some twenty-five, or fifty, composed of Roman Catholic Members, who voted and acted at the dictation of Irish Roman Catholic archbishops, bishops, and priests, and some so-called professing Protestants? How long was this obstructive policy to continue? He called upon that House to repeal the Act of 1829; but whether that call were followed or not, upon this they might depend, that the Irish Protestants would never be intimidated, but that they would be ever forward, as a body, in maintaining the British constitution and British law.
MR. M. J. O'CONNELL
expressed a hope that the speech of the hon. and gallant Gentleman who had just sat down would act as a warning to the Government of the danger they were incurring by proceeding with legislation of the present kind, for when they had obtained the support of the hero of "the diamond" they ought to beware. He questioned if the opposition of the hon. Member for the city of Dublin was half so dangerous as the support of the hon. and gallant Member who had talked of bringing in the support of the Orange yeomanry—a class of men whom the late Sir Ralph Abercromby had described as formidable to every body but the enemy. He (Mr. O'Connell) opposed this measure because of the danger he feared would arise from discontent. The Irish Members had been told by the last speaker that they had no wills of their own, hut must speak as the Irish Roman Catholic bishops and priests dictated. He (Mr. O'Connell) threw that insinuation back with the most calm and perfect scorn. They (the Irish Members) were not bound 390 by any oaths of a secret association, but they were as free agents as any others in or out of that House.
§ MR. SCULLY
said, as the hon. and gallant Member for the county of Armagh had thrown out imputations against the loyalty of the Catholic Members, he begged to ask him what was the feeling of the Irish Protestant Members, when the Government proposed the Rate in Aid? Did they not then protest that such a measure would create a rebellion in Ireland; and did they not earn for themselves the title of sixpenny loyalty? He hoped the Government would not be led by the speech of the hon. and gallant Gentleman to rely upon the support of the Orange Societies, but that they would fling themselves upon the broad and generous loyalty of the people of Ireland, and they would never have occasion to repent it.
§ SIR WILLIAM VERNER
said, he must assert that hon. Members had got up in that House, and dared the Prime Minister to pass this measure, adding, that if it were passed, the whole body of Irish Roman Catholics would come forward in a body and oppose it. Those who opposed the law in such a way were rebels. He believed that those who made such assertions were stating that which was not the fact; but, if it were the fact, the parties opposing the law could be viewed in no other light than as rebels.
§ MR. REYNOLDS
said, that as he was the Member referred to by the hon. and gallant Gentleman, he begged to be permitted to explain what he really did state. The hon. and gallant Gentleman had put words into his mouth which he had never uttered. He had never defied the Prime Minister to pass the Bill. He had never dared him to pass it; but he told the Prime Minister and the hon. and gallant Gentleman also, that his threats had no weight with him—that, if that House passed any Bill interfering with the free exercise of the Roman Catholic religion in Ireland, the Roman Catholics of the present day would act as their ancestors acted, when, penal laws being passed, they suffered death on the scaffold, allowed their lands to be confiscated, and were, some of them, hunted into caverns, and others of them transported. The hon. and gallant Gentleman had invited the Prime Minister to pursue his countrymen with acts of aggression, and had said that if the Roman Catholics obstructed, the Orangemen would help to cut them down. He (Mr. Reynolds) 391 would tell the hon. and gallant Gentleman, in the strongest language Parliamentary courtesy would permit him to use—that the Irish Members despised his threats, and defied his power, and that his braggadocio and boasting, although it might have weight in that House, was laughed to scorn by the millions of the Roman Catholics of Ireland. The hon. and gallant Gentleman spoke of his "loyalty." Why, when the sixpenny Rate in Aid was proposed, an hon. Member from the north of Ireland declared in his place that the standing army would have to be doubled in Ireland if the measure were adopted. On that occasion he (Mr. Reynolds) called the north loyalty sixpenny loyalty; and now he would term the threats of the hon. and gallant Baronet, "Tallagh-hill talk." The people of the north of Ireland were misrepresented by the hon. and gallant Baronet, and the best proof of this was in the small number of petitions sent up to that House, and the very few meetings which had been held relative to this measure. The hon. and gallant Baronet had talked of the Protestants there being 2,500,000; he wanted to know where he got them. In 1841, they were only 1,500,000 of all denominations of Protestants; but he supposed if this state of things went on they would soon be placing the Catholic people in a minority in that country. He (Mr. Reynolds) had no intention of violating truth; but if hon. Members indulged in that kind of poetry, there would be no end of it. The hon. Baronet had perhaps shown his "Diamond" courage in making this attack; but it was only Dolly Brae braggadocio.
§ Question put, "That these words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 45; Noes 291: Majority 246.
§ MR. MOORE
said, that he had to propose as an Amendment that after the words "England and Ireland," in the second clause, should he inserted the words "as long as the said Church shall continue to be the United Church of England and Ireland." He thought no great objection could be made to this proposition by those who wished to maintain the United Church of England and Ireland. But there was a section in that House, among whom he included the noble Lord at the head of the Government, who did not wish that this union should continue. He so included the noble Lord, because that noble Lord, on many previous occasions, had declared 392 that to be his opinion. On one occasion the noble Lord declared that unless a very large reform took place in the Established Church of Ireland, the Irish people bad a right to demand a repeal of the Union; and that he could not conceive how any person wishing to retain the Union could object to a large and sweeping reform in the Established Church of Ireland. His Lordship stated also that his object was to attain a perfect equality between the Protestant and Catholic Churches in Ireland; and that measure he believed to be the panacea for all the evils of that country. The same statesman now proposed to ignore the existence of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. But, taking a practical view of the question, he would entreat the Committee to consider the disaffection and dissatisfaction which the Established Church created in Ireland; anticipating, therefore, the time when the noble Lord would propose some measure for equalising the two Churches in Ireland, he (Mr. Moore) took the liberty of proposing his Amendment, thereby leaving it open to the noble Lord to bring forward that great and healing measure which they had every reason to expect from him. Amendment proposed—In line 28, after the word 'Ireland,' to insert the words 'as long as the said Church shall continue to be the United Church of England and Ireland.'
thought there would be a great want of propriety on his part if, upon a clause in a Bill having for its object something wholly disconnected from the state of the Established Church iii Ireland, he should enter into any discussion upon such an irrelevant matter. He was not surprised that that there should exist a considerable feeling of disappointment in that House as to the state at which this discussion had arrived. It did not become him to offer any advice to that House, but for himself he should pursue this course, namely, he would not attempt to modify, to amend, or to alter in any way the provisions of this Bill. He would let the Government and those who chose to meddle with it bring to perfection, or to destruction, as they could, their own child. But until the third reading of the whole Bill, he would venture to suggest to Gentlemen that they should reserve themselves, for he thought it was exceedingly likely they would then be called upon to take a particular course in order not to deceive the country with a false measure, pretending 393 by words to do that which it never could do, and by adopting which they would really compromise their own character, as well as deceive the people.
§ MR. REYNOLDS
conceived that it was imperative on the noble Lord at the head of the Government to favour the Committee with his opinion on the matter, recollecting, as he did, the many brilliant and powerful speeches which the noble Lord had delivered in that House on the subject of the Irish Church. It appeared to him that his hon. Friend the Member for Mayo (Mr. Moore) had afforded the noble Lord a golden opportunity to express himself on that subject, and he grounded that belief on the last memorable effort of the noble Lord—the Appropriation Clauses battle of 1835, when he carried a Motion triumphantly through the Committee, which ultimately had the effect of driving the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth (the late Sir Robert Peel) from power. He (Mr. Reynolds) thought, under the circumstances, he was not unreasonable in requiring the expression of the noble Lord's opinion, or in advising him to mitigate the evils of a Church establishment being forced upon the people of Ireland. When in opposition the noble Lord had always said he would bring the state of the Irish Church under the notice of that House. They did not ask him, at present, to weaken the temporalities of the Church in Ireland; but, anticipating a time when a separation would be pronounced, his hon. Friend the Member for Mayo wished that the bishops and clergy of the Established Church should not be liable to the pains and penalties of this Bill. He wanted to know whether the noble Lord would really divide the Committee on this simple and harmless Amendment, and what they (the Roman Catholic Members were to say of him to the millions in Ireland, and to the millions in this country who were anxious for legislation on this subject. He believed the Dissenters were desirous to moderate and to mitigate the political evils of the temporalities of a Protestant Church in Ireland. Was he asking too much in requesting to have the opinion of the noble Lord on this question; or were they to assume that the time was come when the axe was to be laid at the root of the greatest evil in Ireland—the Church of the minority being the Established Church of that country? He could not command language sufficiently strong to express his thanks, and the thanks of his 394 fellow Roman Catholics to the right hon. Baronet the Member for Ripon (Sir J. Graham), for his manly, eloquent, and powerful advocacy of their claims; but he trusted the gratitude of 7,000,000 of his fellow-subjects would more than compensate for the censures of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Napier).
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
said, the hon. Gentleman wished to have his opinion, and his opinion was, that this Amendment had nothing to do with the subject under discussion.
§ Question put, "That those words he there inserted."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 36; Noes 240: Majority 204.
§ MR. REYNOLDS
moved that the Chairman should report progress. He was not doing anything unreasonable in moving that the House should resume after sitting for eight hours.
§ House resumed. Committee report progress; to sit again on Friday.