§ Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question, [9th May]—Debate resumed.
§ Question again proposed "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."
§ MR. SCULLY
said, he rose to oppose the Motion for Mr. Speaker's leaving the Chair, and he did so because he believed that the Bill was not warranted by the facts, and that, if carried, it would be dangerous to the moral and social condition of Ireland. The noble Lord at the head of the Government had stated various reasons to justify the introduction of this measure. First, he had asserted that it was necessary to meet an aggression on the rights and privileges of the Crown, and then he said its object was to place the affairs of the Irish Church in a different position, and if not to coerce to restrain its powers. And another reason put forward was—and this was the principal ground urged by the right hon. and learned Master of the Rolls—that the measure would interfere with the synodical action of the Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland. The noble Lord also urged that this aggression of the Pope's had arisen from a design on the part of his Holiness to interfere with the constitutional liberties, not of this country alone, but of other European States; that it was part of the revolutionary tactics pursued 994 by the Pope throughout Europe; and that its object was to create difficulties and disturbances between England and Ireland with respect to this last question. He (Mr. Scully) believed the policy of the Pope was entirely different to that which the noble Lord had declared it to be; and they had, he thought, sufficient proof of this in what he had done in Italy, where certainly he had never encouraged revolutionary doctrines. The noble Lord had further stated that no Continental State, whether Catholic or Protestant, would permit such an aggression as he said the Pope had made upon the independence of England: now, looking at the reports of our Ambassadors and Consuls, he (Mr. Scully) was led to quite a different conclusion. He found that in almost every nation in Europe there had been an inclination of late to increase the power and efficiency of the Roman Catholic Church, and to remove those obstacles and persecuting statutes which formerly stood in the way of its development. It appeared that Austria (to which the noble Lord had referred) had never forbidden provincial councils or diocesan synods, and that the Pope had the power of nominating the hierarchy. In Prussia—a Protestant country—the relations between the King and the Pope were regulated by a concordat signed in 1821, and then the Pope had divided the country into districts precisely as he had done here; but in consequence of many advantages conferred upon the Catholic Church, such as the endowment of their clergy by the King, the Pope had conceded some of his rights, one of which was the veto on the appointment of bishops upon good grounds being shown for such a proceeding; and by the statute of 1850 the publication of bulls and rescripts from the Pope was allowed. In another country not referred to by the noble Lord—Greece—it appeared from a letter written by Mr. Wyse, and quoted in the reports made to the noble Lord the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, that the Pope, even there, directed the appointment of the Roman Catholic bishop and his coadjutors without the intervention of the Greek Government. Again, in Belgium, though the salaries were voted by the Chambers, the Pope had the nomination of the archbishop and the bishops, and bulls and rescripts from Rome were allowed to be published without any previous permission from the Government being required; in addition to which the Pope had 995 the power of increasing the number of clergy of all classes. This was an important fact as regarded Belgium, where, previous to its separation from Holland, the Roman Catholic religion was subjected to such severe penal enactments. In a pamphlet published by Mr. Carew O. Dwyer, the late Member for Drogheda, numerous instances of persecution of the Roman Catholic Church in Belgium, under the Dutch Government, were stated. Persecution on account of their religion was the principal cause of the revolution which ended in the separation of the two countries; and he warned the House that the example thereby set, might be one day followed by the people of Ireland, if this persecuting measure was put in execution. The noble Lord had said, that the late proceeding on the part of the Pope was likely to endanger the constitutional liberties of this country; but he seemed to forget that the Pope had recently pursued a course in his own country which tended to preserve monarchical institutions. When Ireland was strongly excited in 1798, what did the Pope do? His Holiness addressed the Roman Catholic hierarchy, and said that secret societies were the nurseries of sedition and rebellion, and ought to be put down. Similar language had recently been used with regard to these societies by Dr. Cullen—that eminent man who had been designated a "political demagogue," and whom the right hon. and learned Master of the Rolls called an "Italian monk," a phrase which that right hon. and learned Gentleman ought to retract. Instead of trying to crush the hierarchy, the Government ought to be the first to support that exemplary body. The noble Lord had declined to answer the question so aptly put to him by the hon. and learned Member for Athlone (Mr. Keogh). That question was, whether he would enforce this Bill or not. The noble Lord said, that the present Bill would do no more than the Act of 1829—that that Act had not been violated, so consequently it was not necessary to enforce it; and he trusted the same might result from this Bill. But he (Mr. Scully) would ask, had the Roman Catholic hierarchy committed any offence against the Act of 1829? Was the appointment of a Bishop of Galway a violation of that Act? or was the appointment of a Bishop of Ross a violation of it? He believed these were violations of it; yet the Act was not enforced, because the noble Lord was well aware that the 7,000,000 of Irish Ro- 996 man Catholics would not permit it. He wanted to know if the Act had not been violated in other respects. The Act provided that no Roman Catholic bishop should take the title of any town or place held by a Protestant bishop, and that if he did he subjected himself to a penalty of 100l. Now, a case had occurred in the courts of Dublin, in which it was shown that the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin had signed his name "Archbishop of Dublin;" and was not that an assumption of the title held by the Protestant Archbishop of Dublin? He wished to know whether it was really intended by Her Majesty's Government to enforce the present Bill or not; if it was merely meant to be a dead letter, why, he should like to be informed, should it be passed at all? The prerogative of the Crown had been talked of; but if that prerogative extended to Ireland, did it not likewise extend to the colonies? And, if we allowed the creation of Roman Catholic bishoprics in the colonies, was it not unfair and unjust to include Ireland in the operation of the Bill now under consideration, and exclude the colonies? He could not discover how the Protestants of England had been in anywise politically injured by the late proceeding of the Pope, or how the Protestant bishops, rectors, or church placemen, were at all affected by it. He believed the country would yet see that this misnamed aggression did not interfere with them in any respect. Before the Act of 1829 was passed, the Protestants anticipated danger to arise from its enactment; but could any one now point out what danger had resulted to them from it? He could not help thinking that the people of this country would in time to come, reflect with regret on the time they had wasted in an irrational attempt to persecute the Church they had emancipated in 1829. If the present Bill were confined solely to England, Ireland would nevertheless oppose it. If the clergy of the one country were attacked, the clergy of both would feel themselves attacked, and the Irish people would resist every attempt to persecute the Roman Catholic clergy of England. At present Roman Catholics were allowed to hold seats in that House, to become Members of the Government, to attain the highest distinction at the Bar, and in the Army and Navy; and yet Her Majesty's Ministers seemed now to think that it would be right to persecute their Church. The attempt, however, would fail. If the Bill were carried into execution, might 997 not the Roman Catholics of Ireland be tempted to retaliate? and, if so, what might become of the Protestant people of that country? He called upon Protestant Members of that House, representing places in Ireland, to consider what feelings would he engendered there by this proposed legislation. It would create violent irritation; and, he would repeat, it would be difficult to say in such a case what might he the fate of the Protestant Church in Ireland in the midst of millions of offended Roman Catholics. If this measure were carried, the spread of national education in the sister country would be endangered, for if the Roman Catholic bishops were removed from their seats, that unfortunate result must follow. Let it be recollected by the House that those of the Roman Catholic bishops who were formerly the most lenient and passive, were now in hostility to the Government. He believed that if the Queen's Colleges had been established upon a proper basis, they would confer great benefits; but the sole appointment of the Professors by the Government, was a system that could not be sanctioned by the Catholic hierarchy, and was one not carried out in any Continental country. It was very desirable, he thought, in the course of this debate, that some one should explain to the Government the peculiar manner in which the Irish Roman Catholic hierarchy were situated. He I believed no bishop could be appointed in that country unless he took his title from some place or town in the country, and that he must appoint priests as "bishop of that place or town." By this means only their authority was conferred; so that the Catholic Archbishop of Cashel, though he had a right to say mass and to celebrate marriages, and so on, in his own archdiocese, could not perform any of these duties in the archdiocese of Dublin. The Pope, moreover, addressed him as "Archbishop of Cashel;" but if the present Bill were passed, and it was enforced, he would be deprived of all those rights and privileges, and the country would be thereby thrown into a state of convulsion. It had been said that by introducing the Roman Catholic hierarchy into England, the canon law would be also introduced, and with it the power of excommunication; but, supposing this to be true, was there no remedy by the common or statute law of this country? Why, Lord Stanley had distinctly stated in his place in Parliament, that if the bishops or priests of the Roman Catholic Church 998 attacked their Roman Catholic subjects, the law of the land would step in and protect the rights of the people. There was no danger, therefore, even if the canon law were introduced, that there would be any injury done to either person or property. He did not apprehend that any such results would follow. Sardinia was the only case that had been cited in which, for a long period, any such act had taken place; and he was prepared to contend that in that instance the facts had been greatly exaggerated. The laws of the land here were, he believed, sufficiently strong to resist the attempt of any priest to injure in their persons or property the Roman Catholic laity. In this country if a person were injured in his person or property by an excommunication, he could have a remedy at common law; and a case had lately occurred in the county of Cavan, where a man was excommunicated by his clergyman from the altar. He applied to the civil courts, and obtained damages against him. The Catholic people of Ireland felt perfectly secure in the exercise of the rights and privileges which they enjoyed; they feared no interference with them on the part of the Pope; and they did not ask such a measure of protection as the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) had held out to them; and a declaration had lately been made by the Roman Catholic nobility and gentry of this country to the same effect. He believed that the present Government, in attempting to do that which no other Government had ever ventured to do, had acted upon reasons very different from those which they assigned. Instead of those grounds, such as the creation of a hierarchy in this country, or the course taken by the Synod of Thurles in respect to the college question, he thought the Government feared an increase in the number of Roman Catholics in this country; and it was against the progress of that religion that they now proposed to legislate. There were, however, other grounds upon which he would rest the propriety of the course which he and his friends were taking in resisting the Motion that Mr. Speaker should leave the Chair. They had to look to the Amendments which were to be submitted when the House did go into Committee. The Bill itself was bad enough, and would do mischief enough. But the proposed Amendments if carried would madden the people, and increase the danger of violence, even of revolution. The question, then, 999 was, were they to afford the opportunity of putting these Amendments? If these Amendments were carried, they would run the risk of provoking a civil war. Such Amendments came appropriately from the party which had given notice of them; and the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) would do well to hand over the whole measure to that party, and to wash his own hands of all the consequences of this description of legislation. The very first Amendment proposed was, that the conduct of the Roman Catholic bishops should be made amenable to the inquisition of a common informer. Now, the noble Lord was bound to state, in asking permission to put the Bill into Committee, what he would do in respect to those Amendments. Until some explanation was given by the Government, the Irish Members must be hold to be perfectly justified in the course they were taking. The accusations against the Irish Members of "factious opposition," came with a very ill grace from some of those who uttered it, because he remembered that those very Members who had supported the Irish Coercion Bill of 1846, on its first reading, afterwards turned round and voted against it on the second reading, in order to drive Sir Robert Peel from office. Hon. Members opposite voted, in 1846, against the measure which they themselves afterwards introduced and carried through the House. And, as Members of a party, hon. Gentlemen opposite voted black and blue every day of their lives at the bidding of their leaders. The Irish Members took a course of which all Ireland approved, and that was sufficient for them. He could not find language strong enough to convey the deep feeling's of indignation pervading the constituency which he represented in regard to this infamous measure. Let there be no mistake about the people of Ireland: they were insulted and they felt the insult, and they would not forget it. This Bill might become law: even then it might be inoperative; but it would have to be atoned for. He warned the friends of the Established Church in Ireland that if this Bill passed, the Roman Catholics of that country would support no candidate who would not pledge himself to remove the anomaly and disgrace of maintaining a Church in Ireland, which was the Church of the minority. Ministers would do well to remember that the elective power would be placed, at the next general election, in the hands of a new class of voters 1000 in Ireland. The next general election would show the effect which this controversy had had in Ireland. Under ordinary circumstances, and with the new franchise in operation, the noble Lord would not have had to expect more than thirty votes against him for Ireland. He would now have to look for an opposition from over double that number—an opposition pledged to resist his Government at every step, unless he was determined to desist from measures of persecution similar to the present, and develop a wide and comprehensive policy for Ireland. Let Her Majesty's Government, therefore, beware. Any attempt to enforce this Bill would result in a revolution. He warned the House that it was only wasting its time in discussing and passing a measure which no Government would ever dare to enforce. He would tell them, that if they attempted to put one Irish Roman Catholic bishop in gaol, their reign in Ireland was over for ever.
MR. WEGG PROSSER
would vote against the Bill. He thought that the discussion had so far been utterly irrelevant to the true points at issue. There had been many speeches against the Roman Catholic religion and against the political system in Roman Catholic countries. On Monday night even the noble Lord (Lord John Russell), taking that line of argument, had taunted the hon. and learned Member for Athlone (Mr. Keogh) with a question as to what would have been his position as a subject in Rome. But the Roman Catholics of this country asked for religious freedom, not upon the ground that they were Roman Catholics, but on the ground that they were Englishmen. Many fallacies were involved in the arguments which had been used to support the Bill. Was it right to cite the customs of other countries of Europe who had never enjoyed the blessings of religious freedom? The instance of Sardinia had not been fairly stated, because the fact had been omitted that they had broken their concordat with Rome, and had not obtained a renewal of it. He believed that in Sweden—a purely Protestant country—the lessons of tolerance had yet to be learnt; and he trusted those principles would be extended to all countries. With regard to Ireland, on the one hand it was said that Ireland, being a Roman Catholic country, ought not to be included in the Bill, and that to include it would he merely stirring up a spirit of dissension, 1001 which could have no possible benefit. On the other hand, it was contended by the Government, that as the prerogative of the Queen extended to both countries, to repel an aggression on that prerogative it was absolutely necessary to extend the measure to both countries. But he believed the inference which would be drawn by every reflecting mind would be, that the Queen's prerogative was not concerned, and that it was a mistake and a fallacy to suppose that it had anything to do with the subject. The act of the Pope was termed an "aggression." Now it certainly was not an aggression endangering the social harmony of the country. It certainly could not be an aggression with the political object of increasing the political power of the Pope in this country; for, obviously, the Pope, in appointing a hierarchy which would be independent and nationalised, would not have the same control over Roman Catholics as he had possessed through the means of vicars-apostolic. It certainly was not an invasion of the prerogative of the Queen; for the titles conferred were titles in a Church not acknowledging the spiritual supremacy of the Queen. As to the introduction of the canon law clashing with the law of the land, he was not enough of a lawyer to understand the case fully, but he did not think there was any ground for supposing there would be such a result; at all events, there was no chain of evidence to justify interfering with the internal concerns of the Roman Catholics, to defend them from injuries of which they had no dread. As to the temporal power of the Pope, that was now denied by the majority of Roman Catholics; and he thought even that had been unnecessarily condemned, seeing that the exercise of that power in bygone ages had carried some benefit with it. When it did exist, it was not an unmixed evil. Macaulay wrote thus:—What would be a great evil under a good Government, under a grossly bad Government might be a blessing. It is better that mankind should be governed by wise laws and enlightened public opinion than by priestcraft; but it is better that they should be governed by priestcraft than by brute violence.The temporal power of the Pope was of service in the middle ages, and, therefore, it ought not to be abused in that violent manner in which it sometimes was by those who wished to serve some political or party purpose. As to the Pope intending to 1002 form a dangerous combination in England, the appointment of diocesan bishops, who would necessarily become nationalised, did not seem the best means for effecting that object. The difference between a bishop in and of a place, or a person exercising episcopal jurisdiction in a place, was a distinction unworthy the good sense of the House. If a Roman Catholic bishop exercised certain authority within a certain district as Roman Catholic bishop in that place, he was the Roman Catholic bishop of that place. The bishop of the Roman Catholics in Birmingham was to them Bishop of Birmingham; and he was at a loss to understand the distinction which had been attempted to be made. Then as to titles, there might be titles of rank, or titles applying to the capacity in which the person acted; as, for instance, "parish priest" was a title, but it was no title conferring temporal precedence or privileges; and exactly of the same description were the titles against which they were legislating. Another point was the supposed insult on the British nation; and he thought there was a great deal of national vanity mixed up with that portion of the argument, for which there could be no justification. Again, there were many men who held that the title of bishop was one which could neither be given nor taken away by an earthly power—who, like himself, believed that episcopacy had a Divine origin; and therefore he did not think it right that the House of Commons should indirectly deny that doctrine. It was a bad thing for the State to interfere at any time with religious bodies; but especially when those bodies were not endowed by the State. One reason had been urged in support of this Bill, which, to his mind, was a strong reason for rejecting it, namely, that because there had been a great outcry in the country, it was the duty of this House to do something—they did not know what. He thought the duty and functions of the House of Commons was to reflect, not the wild outcry of mobs, but the calm and deliberate opinion of the community. After the country had time to reflect, he was sure every man must be ashamed of what had been done during the past six months; or, if not, he would be ashamed of his country. When they found the sign of the cross, the symbol of our religion, marked on the walls in mockery and derision, it was time to feel some alarm for our common Christianity. Such acts would not 1003 tend to raise a Christian country in the eyes of the world. He believed the best thing they could do was, not to pass the Bill, but to oppose themselves to the madness of their countrymen. Viewing the case under such feelings, therefore, he should vote against the further progress of the Bill.
did not rise for the purpose of advancing any general debate. The supporters of the Bill might pass over for the moment the ingenious arguments of the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, and the yet more diversified harangue of the hon. Member for Tipperary (Mr. Scully). He (Mr. Campbell) rose in order to remark that the Irish Members had committed an inaccuracy as regarded the object they pursued, and the cause with which they were entrusted, in resisting the Motion that Mr. Speaker do leave the Chair. The most sanguine and romantic of the Irish Gentlemen amongst them could not hope by the persuasion he contrived, or the obstruction he accumulated, to avert the ultimate accomplishment of some legislative measure. What alternative remained then to unqualified discomfiture, except to give effect to the proposition of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Rochdale (Mr. S. Crawford) in Committee? The hon. Member for Rochdale was prepared in Committee to explain that the wishes of the English public could be executed, and the honour of the Protestant religion vindicated, although Ireland was exempted from the operation of the statute they enacted. That opinion, it was well known to many, the most enlightened writer on the controversy, Dr. Twiss, had seemed to favour. In that opinion it was tolerably evident the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst (Mr. Walpole) acquiesced, as he was too sagacious and considerate to think the measures he proposed consistent with religious peace or social harmony in Ireland. He offered no remark on the validity of what the hon. Member for Rochdale was about to vindicate. He ventured to suggest, however, to the Irish Members, that they were thus invited from a quagmire to a standing place, from empty sound to practical discussion, from vain and desperate attacks, to rational and possible resistance. The success of that resistance must depend in some degree on the effect with which it is conducted; and the Irish Members can hardly need to be reminded that if they exhaust the House 1004 with harassing complaints, and idle reclamations, they will by and by support the hon. Member for Rochdale with very little credit to themselves, and very little justice to the parties they are anxious to defend.
§ MR. TRELAWNY
implored the Government not to proceed further with the Bill. He wished to support the Government as far as he could; but in this instance they had got into a wrong track, and he could not support them. But how was it proposed to carry this Bill into effect? If it succeeded it must be a persecuting measure; if it did not succeed, it would be merely a name-calling measure, and simply abusive. He did not see any harm in giving these titles, nor could he see with what consistency Government could object to this measure, and yet support the Charitable Bequests Act, the educational system, and the grant to Maynooth. The canon law might be oppressive; but that was a question for the consideration of the Roman Catholics alone, and as many of them as found it too oppressive might come over to the Protestant Church; but Protestants had no call to interfere in the matter. He was not inclined to pass any vote of censure upon the Government; but it was his candid opinion that the whole course of conduct pursued towards the Catholics in this country tended to make them think that; we were inclined to allow them full liberty to do all they had done here. He believed, also, that such a law as the present, instead of checking the progress of Catholicism, would tend to strengthen the position of the Roman Catholics, and spread their doctrines.
§ MR. P. HOWARD
said, the First Minister of the Crown had said that the friends of liberty in Germany, Italy, and other parts of Europe, were looking anxiously to this country for its decision upon this question. But he should like to know what legislative assembly had, directly or indirectly, expressed a wish that this Bill should pass into law. It was not the friends of liberty, but the friends of intolerance, who wished this Bill to pass. One argument had been urged in favour of this Bill by the hon. and learned Member for the city of Oxford (the Solicitor General), in the course of the debate—namely, the execrable mixture of spiritual and temporal power which was possessed by the head of the Romish Church. Now, in early times, and during the feudal system, no doubt a great amount of political and temporal 1005 power was conceded to the Sovereign Pontiff; but the case was quite reversed now, as might be seen by reference to the ablest modern books. It appeared, Leo. XII. in an Encyclical Letter to the Prelates of Christendom, states, "On civil matters we do not treat;" and again, in a reply to the President of Mexico, dated June, 1825, the same august Pontiff, in declining to interfere in the disputes with the mother country, uses these remarkable words:—"Our peculiar character and the dignity to which, without the least merit, we have been raised, requires that we interfere not in affairs unconnected with the Church." And yet when it was a question of purely-spiritual power, on the expiration of the concordat with Spain, Leo. XII. in a Consistory held in 1827, nominated, without consulting Bolivar and the other chiefs of Spanish South America to the vacant Archbishoprics of Santa Fe and the Caraccas, and to other vacant sees on that continent, thus showing a careful abstinence from intervention in temporal matters, and at the same time a lofty assertion of the spiritual authority of the Holy See. It should be remembered, too, that Pope Gregory the Great was the means of introducing Christianity into this country; and we ought to feel some respect for the Papal See when we recollected that when Pope Pius VII. in 1808, was asked by Napoleon to take part with him against this country, he declined, saying that the English were Christians, and he could not take part against them. In the great county of Lancaster, there had been no public manifestation of feeling in favour of the Bill; nor had any public meeting taken place in Middlesex. In the counties of Northumberland and Durham, the efforts of intolerance had failed. In Buckinghamshire there had been no county meeting. "So much for Buckingham"—which would not engage in the crusade of intolerance. In Yorkshire, the county meeting was one of the smallest on record. In short, the great mass of the people of England would not join in this intolerant movement against their fellow-countrymen. If it was a hardship to Ireland to be included in the Bill, it was a much greater hardship to the English Catholics, because between the years 1798 and 1829 there was no prohibition to English Catholic prelates against taking any titles which they wished. The restrictions were imposed from the Irish Acts in 1829. There was another point to which he wished to call the attention 1006 of the House. When Bonaparte wished to make a division of the dioceses in France, he did not do so without having recourse to the Pope, although the Pope was then in a state of exile and political weakness. It was Pius VII. who superseded the old dioceses of France, and created the different ecclesiastical divisions. There were some other remarkable cases in which the Holy See had altered dioceses. Jersey and Guernsey were under the ecclesiastical government of a French prelate. What did Alexander VI. do? He transferred the government of these islands from the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the French prelate to that of the Bishop of Winchester. Did not this prove that the right of appointing to sees was clearly an attribute of the Holy See? Throughout the East, the Sovereign Pontiff, without any communication with the Governments, had appointed to bishoprics. The Bishop of Manchester had used an argument which had made an impression in some quarters—namely, that agreements had been made with different Governments on these subjects. But that was always in the case of hierarchies supported by the State. The case of a hierarchy which was purely voluntary, did not come within the argument of the Bishop of Manchester. The Catholic Church in England received no support from the Government, and there was no reason why the Government should interfere with its spiritual affairs. He felt confident that the attempt now making would be foiled by the resistance which conscience would oppose to authority. He regretted the vituperative language which had been used by the First Minister of the Crown, and believed his letter to the Bishop of Durham to be altogether without precedent. It should be recollected that the nation was indebted to the Catholics for the very foundation of its liberties. Magna Charta, trial by jury, and all the great foundations of liberty, had been laid by our Catholic ancestors; and it should not be forgotten that the origin of the quarrel between a Monarch of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury was an interference with the freedom of election by the Chapter of Canterbury; and afterwards, when the Sovereign Pontiff attempted to assert a degree of temporal authority which was not recognised by the creed of the Church, Archbishop Langton protested against the act of the Pope. The civil and political rights of the people of this country had been as- 1007 serted by those professing his own creed, and by himself during a rather long political career. He had supported all the great measures of political reform, and all those which were congenial to political liberty. He would continue to do so. At the same time he would venture forcibly, but respectfully, to defy the efforts of every Government which sought to interfere between men and their Maker.
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE
said, it would be unpardonable, at that late stage of an already long-protracted discussion, if he were to enter into this subject in detail; but as the question had excited considerable interest in Scotland, and as the people of that country, although perhaps they might not have made any very strong demonstration, undoubtedly looked with great anxiety to the result of the deliberations of the House, he was anxious, as shortly and succinctly as he could, to reflect their opinions, and to express his own. In doing so he would, as far as possible, confine himself to the broad and simple principle on which, as it appeared to him, this question mainly depended. He might, perhaps, be allowed at the outset to express a feeling which was, he believed, as universal in Scotland as the feeling of indignation at the proceedings of the Court of Rome—he meant a feeling of deep and sincere regret that any circumstances should have occurred to render the present measure necessary. He believed that, since 1829, there had been in this country, and especially among the Protestant part of the community, a very sincere, and honest, and growing wish that religious differences should mingle as little as possible in political discussion. The removal of the disabilities affecting Dissenters, whether Roman Catholic or Protestant, had led to a more friendly, and free, and cordial intercourse among persons of all denominations and of all creeds, and that intercourse had produced its natural fruit in greater liberality and charity of opinion on all sides. He believed that, so far from there being any desire on the part of the people of this country to revive the old flames of religious intolerance, to ransack too curiously ancient statutes, or to revive forgotten penalties, the very reverse was the fact. He considered that the agitation which had spread throughout the country, and the strong and vehement opinions that had been expressed, had arisen among and had been elicited from a community who were so far from wishing that such questions 1008 should be stirred, that nothing but the conviction of strong and overwhelming necessity would have roused them to action. It was not, however, difficult to find the real cause of all this agitation. Some hon. Gentlemen had spoken as if the brand of discord that had been thrown among them, had come from the hands of the Government. ["Hear, hear!"] He would accept that cheer as a test of the question; and would put it to hon. Gentlemen, if it were not a circumstance which had a strong and convincing moral in the case, that this measure, which was said to be so intolerant, had come from the hands of a party who had founded their political reputation on having fought the battle of toleration in its darkest times—from a party who from the year 1829 to the present day had been the firmest and strongest supporters of the principle of toleration—a party who had so completely identified themselves with those principles, that they had not escaped a sneer and a taunt from hon. Gentlemen opposite, for having, by their too great friendship for Roman Catholics and for toleration, been one cause of the proceedings of the Pope. He thought it was plain that nothing but mere infatuation could have prompted such a measure as that now under discussion, without a strong conviction of its necessity. Some doubts had been expressed as to the cause of the present disunion between the Roman Catholic and Protestant population; but he considered that it was the rescript of the Pope from which the division had arisen. That rescript unquestionably altered the footing upon which the Roman Catholic Church in this country had stood for centuries. Its language plainly expressed that the author of it was setting himself, after the lapse of centuries, to reorganise a Church in this land which had been in abeyance. Well, whether that was right or wrong, whether it was in accordance with the constitution of this country or not, it surely was the initiative—the measure from which all the other proceedings commenced; and for hon. Gentlemen to discuss this matter as if there had not been an unquestionable innovation in the policy of the Court of Rome towards this country, was, he thought, to lose sight entirely of the real question at issue. This Papal rescript was the origin of the controversy; and the next question was, did it call for the interference of Government? He thought that it, and what had followed upon it, afforded very sufficient cause for 1009 some measure on the part of the Government; for, without taking into account the encroachment on the supremacy of the Queen—though that, he thought, in itself would have justified and compelled some Government measure—that rescript unquestionably bore upon its face, expressed in language not to be mistaken, the assertion of a right to spiritual dominion and supremacy not only over the Roman Catholics, but over the inhabitants of this country generally. Now if the Roman Catholics of this country, and the Pope in concert with them, had set themselves to work, as a dissenting and tolerated body should do, courteously and quietly, with becoming humility—[Cries of"Oh, oh!"]—with that respect at all events which they owed to the Government and the institutions of the country in which they lived, to reorganise their own ecclesiastical system in the way they thought most fitting and best adapted to its management, he was satisfied that the Government and the people of England, attached as they were to the principles of toleration, would not have been inclined to inquire too particularly into the steps which the Roman Catholic body might have thought it necessary to take for that purpose. He did not mean to say that what had been done could have been legally done under any circumstances; but what he wished to say was, that if they had exhibited on the face of their proceedings a simple desire to organise an ecclesiastical hierarchy in this land in conformity with its well-known laws and constitution, the House of Commons would now have had a very different question to deal with. He could find nothing of that kind, however, in the rescript. That document was couched in the language of the conqueror of a once revolted but now vanquished province; and, so far from showing the tone of one hoping and expecting and requiring toleration, it seemed to him to express the language of one who had the power and the will to be himself intolerant. The language of that rescript unquestionably amounted to a claim to domination and supremacy over Protestants in this country. They had been told that the Pope's rescript involved no claim to temporal supremacy in this realm. From what he had heard and read of the history of Papal domination, he was satisfied that the temporal supremacy of the Papacy was based upon its spiritual supremacy, that spiritual supremacy not being confined to the flock belonging to the Roman Catholic faith, but 1010 extending over the whole community. It had been said, also, that it was necessary the rescript should be issued, because, unless its provisions were carried out, the Roman Catholic body in this country could not possibly complete their spiritual framework, their ecclesiastical jurisdiction; and the House had been referred to various other Dissenting denominations who, it was argued, possessed the power and the right of doing that very thing which the Roman Catholic bishops and the Pope were now to be prohibited from doing. He would reply, in the first place, that there was a very great difference between what was done by a voluntary association within the kingdom, and what was done by the command and at the word of a foreign potentate out of the kingdom. In the next place, no Dissenting denomination, that he was aware of, ever had done, or ever had attempted to do, what the Pope had done by his rescript, and never had claimed the power which Cardinal Wiseman had arrogated to himself in his pastoral letter. Neither the Wesleyan Methodists nor the Free Church of Scotland, nor any other Dissenting body, so far as he knew, had ever claimed the slightest power over any other persons than those who belonged to their own persuasion. Reference had been made to the Scottish Episcopal Church, and to the case of Bishop Skinner, of Aberdeen, who, it seemed, had excommunicated one of his clergy for some ecclesiastical offence. Now, he (the Lord Advocate) thought that case was one very strongly illustrative of his argument. The case was this:—Bishop. Skinner had published a sentence of excommunication. The clergyman did not choose to lie under that sentence, and, conceiving that the bishop had no right to publish it, he brought an action against Bishop Skinner in the courts in Scotland. The bishop came into court, but he did not plead as Bishop of Aberdeen. He designated himself, most appropriately, as "Dr. William Skinner, exercising episcopal functions within the district of Aberdeen." [An Hon. MEMBER: Adopting the words of the Act of Parliament.] The question arose whether Bishop Skinner was privileged in the statements he had made—whether he was in the exercise of a known and recognised public function, or was in the position in which any other person would have been; and, as far as the case went, the Court certainly found that there was no privilege. Now, that he (the Lord Advocate), thought was certainly 1011 the very worst possible illustration of the supposed tolerated power of the Scottish Episcopal Church, either to assume territorial titles, or to exercise the power which belonged only to the Established Church. Basing his opposition to the rescript on the ground that the Pope had assumed a right to spiritual supremacy, not over his own people only, but over all the inhabitants of the country, he maintained that it was no necessary attribute of toleration that a tolerated body should be able to exercise all the privileges which they might think necessary to the perfection of their own ecclesiastical system. He would take as an illustration the case to which he had just referred. It might be most essential to the working of an ecclesiastical system that the clergy should be protected in the exercise of discipline, yet it might be that the exercise of that discipline was inconsistent with the laws of the land; and so it was found in that particular case. There was no doubt that a clergyman of the Established Church might do and say many things under the protection of the law; but it did not follow that the same privilege was to be extended to those who were unquestionably tolerated, but who were not under the immediate superintendence and cognisance of the law. He (the Lord Advocate) spoke as a Dissenter himself, for he did not belong to the Established Church of Scotland; but while the principles of toleration were unquestionably to be maintained, there were many privileges even in the exercise of spiritual jurisdiction, which a sect not established could not exercise. He should be sorry to think it any attribute of toleration in this country that any tolerated denomination was entitled to come forward in the face of the country and of Europe, and claim, in language not to be mistaken, the right to dominate, not only over the consciences of those who belonged to that denomination, but as spiritual rulers over all. He should think that the deadliest blow the principle of toleration could receive. He utterly disowned it. He denied that hon. Gentlemen opposite were the representatives of toleration. It was a far higher and more sacred principle than that. He was satisfied that the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill did not trench in the slightest degree on any principle of toleration. With respect to the steps to be adopted, he said nothing of the European view of the matter. It had been thought, and with good reason, that this proceeding of the Pope was derived from a much wider 1012 source than that from which it appeared to flow. But as an assertion had been made, most public in manner, and in language most striking, of the alleged power of the Pope to exercise jurisdiction in this land, it was impossible, and most of them seemed agreed in thinking so, to allow that language to pass without notice. It was said they might despise that language. But it remained with the party who was injured to say whether they could afford to despise the injury or not. He thought they could not afford to despise it. He thought so, first, on account of the effect in Europe. It was plain to him, and he thought the people of this country thought the same, that the Papal measure was one intended to be followed up by others—that this country could not afford to despise that measure without giving encouragement in quarters where it seemed that very little encouragement led to a great deal of encroachment. The whole effect of that measure must be to produce a state of religious strife, and to raise the fires of intolerance more strongly than ever. He believed the true policy with regard to the attempt made was that which was adopted—namely, to stop it at once. Then, on the other hand, the country could not afford to despise it. The people of this country were as strong in Protestant feeling—he could answer for his own countrymen, and he believed it was the case in England—as they were in 1688. If the people had seen the Government and the Legislature looking tamely on when insult was offered to the faith they had so deeply and tenderly at heart, nothing would have run the risk of suffering so much as the principle of toleration, which the people cherished deeply, but which might possibly have been swept away before the tide of indignation which would have arisen. What was wanted was, a plain expression of sentiment by the people of this country to Europe. That they would not suffer, as their ancestors did not, the spiritual domination of the Pope in this country; and it was a matter comparatively of indifference what particular steps were taken for that purpose, provided they did not trench on toleration on the one side, and were effectual on the other. He felt most strongly that no party had a better right to complain of the measure of the Pope than the truehearted loyal Catholic laity. He had every sympathy for the situation in which they were placed; one could quite understand and realise it; and, therefore, the measure 1013 calculated least to excite their feelings, if it were a sufficient measure, was to be preferred. But was the Bill an infringement on the principle of toleration? Was the Act of 1829 an infringement on the principle of toleration? And, if it were admitted that that Act was a demonstration of the principle of toleration, how could it be said that in the present instance, where the Legislature proposed to prohibit a person who assumed a right contrary to law, to exercise ecclesiastical authority over a district under a title derived from such district, an infringement of the principle of toleration was committed when the enactment corresponded with the provisions of the Act of 1829? He did not know enough of the framework of the Catholic hierarchy to enter fully into the question; but he was told it was impossible that the Catholic bishops could exercise their functions properly unless they took a designation derived from a district. Even if that were proved, the plea, on the principle to which they had already referred, could not be admissible. But was it true? Had the Catholic bishops exercised functions in this country and in Scotland for the last century? and had they taken designations from districts during that period? He wished to be informed of the fact; for either there was no ecclesiastical jurisdiction exercised during the whole of that time, or, on the other hand, the Catholic bishops succeeded in exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction without taking titles of districts. He knew that in the Scottish Episcopal Church, where they held the principle of the Church very high, they had exercised all the ecclesiastical functions a bishop required to exercise. They had ordained, they had confirmed; and they had not taken even colloquially, till within the last few years, titles of places as essential to the discharge of those functions. He, therefore, was led to question whether this Bill would interfere with the proper jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic clergy. He should only say of the part of the country with which he was connected, that representations had been made that the people of Scotland cared little about the Papal measure. It was true they did not stand in very great danger of an invasion of Popery in the north. The solid Presbyterian feeling was very little likely to yield; and it was not derogatory to his countrymen to say that in the present case the demonstration they had made was not greater 1014 than the exigency required. But hon. Gentlemen mistook grievously who supposed that if the power of the Pope were to obtain a footing, or the Legislature were found tampering with the religious feelings of the country, the people would be acquiescent. The old spirit was not abated in Scotland in the slightest degree. It had become far more tolerant, but he was satisfied it had become not the less Protestant.
§ MR. REYNOLDS
rejoiced that the voice of Scotland had been heard in that House to-night, because the voice they had heard, so far as regarded the support of the Bill, was a very feeble and moderate voice. The hon. and learned Attorney General for England, the hon. and learned Solicitor General for England, and the Lord Advocate of Scotland, had been heard in favour of this Bill; but the voice of the first law officer of the Crown in Ireland had not been yet heard cither for or against the Bill. The right hon. and learned Gentleman, so far as his abilities would enable him, described the feelings of the people of Scotland, as well as the state of the law in Scotland. He (Mr. Reynolds) wanted a high legal authority to describe the feelings of Ireland. But if the voice of Ireland had been silent on the present occasion—if the legal voice of Ireland remained silent, the legal voice of England was not silent in regard to this Bill. Before he referred, however, to the opinion of eminent English lawyers, he would draw attention to some of the remarks made by the hon. and learned Gentleman who had just addressed the House. He had used a phrase which ought not to be used in that House. He had talked of toleration. What was the meaning of toleration as regarded this question? Did it mean that he and others who believed in the creed of his ancestors came within the range of Protestant toleration? The phrase was an infamous one. He was sorry to hear the hon. and learned Gentleman say the Catholics ought to have conducted themselves with humility. He did not understand the application of that phrase. [Laughter.] He did not understand the meaning of that cheer. He repeated that toleration was a phrase which ought not to be used by one British subject towards another, or one Christian towards another; nor ought it to be used in that House, containing as it did Christians of all sects into which their common Christianity was split. Humility! He did not entertain any feel- 1015 ings of humility. He felt on the contrary—he felt that he had been deprived of many of the benefits to which he was entitled, and that his ancestors had been deprived of them also—by the intolerant legislation of the ancestors of hon. Members; he felt, when at last, after a battle of two centuries, the broad seal had been attached to the charter of civil and religious liberty in 1829, that it was a tardy act of justice, and that he ought not to feel any extra humility on that account. He was surprised to hear the right hon. and learned Lord Advocate say that if this matter had been done quietly, if it had been done with humility, if it had been done sub rosâ, if it had been done behind some political screen, if it had been done on the sly; then, probably, no offence would have been taken. But the right hon. and learned Gentleman had spoken of the Episcopal Church of Scotland, and said of Bishop Skinner that in one of the Scotch Courts he was described as Bishop Skinner exercising episcopal authority in a district in Scotland. For "district," he would read "diocese." He held in his hand a petition presented by the hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Alexander Hastie), which purported to be the petition of ministers, elders, and others of the Established Church of Scotland, signed by 200 members of the Established Church of Scotland. They referred to the Revolution settlement and subsequent ratification at the Union, whereby they stated prelacy, or the office of bishops and archbishops, and all superiority of any office over presbyters, was abolished, while the Presbyterian form was declared the only government of Christ's Church in the kingdom. The right hon. Secretary at War solemnly bowed assent to that opinion. The petition went on to say that 9–10ths of the population of Scotland continued as strongly attached to Presbytery and opposed to Episcopacy as ever; that for some time past, and more especially since 1840, the bishops of the "sect" called Episcopalians had, with much assurance and increasing boldness, renewed the ancient diocesan divisions of Scotland, and assumed the territorial titles and jurisdiction which originally belonged to the bishops prior to the abolition of episcopacy; that those titles were not only assumed by each of those bishops in the exercise of their functions within districts, but that they assumed to govern the whole people throughout Scotland belonging to their communion. Their ambition, it was add- 1016 ed, had led them to adopt titles like those of the bishops in England and Ireland, so that they were addressed by the title of "My Lord," and "his Lordship," and signed official documents by their Christian name only. One, at least, of these bishops, it was further stated, wore on his private carriage the Episcopal mitre. They encroached on the rights of the Established Church; yet notice had been given by the right hon. Secretary for the Home Department of a clause to exempt those bishops from the operation of this Bill. The right hon. and learned Lord Advocate said, these bishops were the bishops of a local sect, but that the bishops of the Catholic Church were created by a foreign authority. As a Catholic, he (Mr. Reynolds) denied it. If the Pope were to take up his abode at Mivart's hotel, instead of Rome, where he was by the last accounts, he had it as much in his power to appoint those bishops and to allot districts as he had at Rome. The noble Lord at the head of the Government was continually pitching in the teeth of the Catholics, his stock-in-trade argument of the Sardinian act of refusing absolution. He might as well argue against emancipation. Reference had been made to a political prophecy of the late Mr. Grattan, that the refusal of emancipation would force the Catholics to incorporate themselves with the See of Rome. Did that mean spiritual incorporation? Since the conversion of Ireland by St. Patrick, the Catholics of Ireland had gloried in being incorporated with the Bishop of Rome, in a spiritual sense. But if incorporation in a spiritual sense were meant, that was an insult to the allegiance of Catholics. If the noble Lord talked of their being subject temporally to a foreign Prince, who was a pocket or duodecimo edition of a prince, he was holding up the weakest Power in Europe as a bugbear. They had sworn allegiance to the Queen, and would not allow the noble Lord at the head of the Government to impeach that allegiance. He had heard the right hon. and learned Lord Advocate with great pleasure, because he spoke in a moderate strain; but there was one thing rather important to the subject that he omitted—he did not say one word about the Bill. He said a great deal about the feeling of Scotland, the supremacy of the Queen, humiliation, and toleration, but not one word about the Bill, because no doubt he felt that to be a tender point. The noble Lord at the head of the Government told them the other 1017 night that if there was persecution in this Bill, it was a persecution they had submitted to since 1829, as the 24th clause of the Act of 1829 contained all that was in the present measure. The noble Lord, however, forgot the difference between the two cases. The object of the Bill of 1829 was to emancipate 10,000,000 of their fellow-subjects; and the 24th clause was inserted in it to pacify the bishops in another place; the object and animus of the present Bill were to enslave those millions, not to emancipate them—it was, in fact, a Bill of pains and penalties. The noble Lord said, it was not his wish to interfere with the Roman Catholic bishops in their episcopal functions, and that he had no intention to interfere with the Charitable Bequests Act, or with those who chose to will their money for charitable purposes. The noble Lord, nevertheless, would not permit him (Mr. Reynolds) to insert a clause in the Bill for the purpose of securing those rights and privileges; and yet he would continue to say that it was not a penal enactment. The hon. and learned Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Bethell), along with two other eminent lawyers, had given an opinion in which they declared that the omission of the second and third clauses of the Bill did not take any of the virus or poison from the Bill—that no Roman Catholic bishop could exercise his functions in Ireland if they passed this Bill even with one clause—and that no bequests for religious and charitable purposes could take effect according to the intention of the donors, even if they passed the Bill in its modified shape. What had brought him and many of his friends to the Opposition side of the House? This Ecclesiastical Titles Bill—this Bill of pains and penalties. What induced him to make the declaration that he would use every effort in his power to hurl the occupants of the Treasury bench from power? Nothing but this Bill. He had been taunted with declaring that he would vote black was white. He never used that phrase; but he had said, that so long as Her Majesty's Government became the persecutors of a creed which he shared with millions of his countrymen, there was no opportunity that occurred by which he might be enabled to wrest from their hands the sceptre of power, that he would not use for that purpose. He had been told he should not have made such a declaration; but there was no small degree of hypocrisy and squeamishness in those who told him so. 1018 He would ask if those who went to their clubs and dined, and then came down to that House, could vote as they did without voting that black was white? If the officials on the Treasury bench were asked how and why they voted as they did, their reply was that they could not help it; that they were labouring under a kind of trammel which other people could not understand. Then, if they were asked why they did not get up in the House and speak against this oppression, their reply would be, "I cannot speak—I am labouring under a disease peculiar to the Treasury benches, called lucrative taciturnity." This was pretty much the case with all those officials of the Treasury. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Drogheda (Sir William Somerville) would not resign his seat, though called upon by his constituents to do so, because he was in trammels; but the Catholics of Drogheda said, he was fighting against the principles on which they returned him, and that because he was Secretary for Ireland he was endeavouring to forge chains for his Catholic fellow-countrymen. There was the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. Bellew), another Member of the Treasury, and what was called a Lord of the Treasury. When he (Mr. Reynolds) heard the noble Lord at the head of the Government pitching the Sardinian affair in their face the other night, who was the noble Lord's most vociferous cheerer? Why, the hon. Member for Louth. Who was the man that most vociferously cried him (Mr. Reynolds) down? The hon. Member for Louth. But there was a numerous band on that (the Conservative) side of the House, who were never charged with voting black was white, and yet they were always voting to put the Government out of office. The distinction between them and himself was, that he was guilty of political petty larceny, while they were guilty of political highway robbery. The magnitude of the offence made the difference. He would tell the promoters of this Bill that a day of reckoning was coming, and though it might put him and others who were called the "Irish Brigade" to inconvenience, they would willingly submit to it for the sake of seeing justice done by the constituencies throughout Ireland upon those representatives who had deserted their cause. He had a piece of information for the Gentlemen on the other side of the House. This Parliament would not last for ever, and they might all expect to be sent about 1019 their business in a very short time, and then there would be an appeal to the Irish people. When that time came, the watchword on the hustings would be, "Down with the Whigs!" "Down with the violators of the Act of 1829!" "Down with the men who bring in a Bill to repeal the Emancipation Act!" "Down with the men who put a penalty of 100l. on Archbishop Murray if he consecrates a priest, who would try him with a packed jury, and send him, if they found him guilty, to a felons' gaol! Down with those who, forgetting their old professions, were now hallooing on the dogs of war against the ancient creed of the people!" The right hon. and learned Lord Advocate said the Whigs had always been the champions of liberty. He (Mr. Reynolds) did not pretend to be a law lord, or a lord of any kind. [An Hon. MEMBER: You were Lord Mayor of Dublin last year.] He was reminded that he was a lord mayor last year; but, having parted with the honour, and now descended from the peerage to the rank of the commons, he was entitled to say he was no lord. He must say the right hon. and learned Lord Advocate had not read history with much advantage. The Whigs had been in power when the greater part of the penal laws against Catholics were passed, though when they waged war with that intolerant monarch, George III., the party received a sudden enlightenment, and carried on, sometimes, he would admit, under circumstances of self-denial, a long-continued advocacy of Catholic emancipation. But they deserved no credit for that: if they were right, they merited no credit; and if they were wrong, they deserved censure. He hoped he should not be misunderstood, however, for he was ready to admit that they were the principal ingredients in the great party which extorted that measure. But if they were to be thankful to the Whigs, the Whigs should be thankful to them (the Irish Members) in return. Who kept them in power for twenty years? The Irish Brigade. The noble Lord at the head of the Government said the other night that the measure of the Pope was part and parcel of a wide-spread European conspiracy to mar the liberal policy of England at foreign Courts. Now upon this point he had a word or two to say to the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary. What were the facts? Dr. Wiseman was created a Cardinal in 1847, and in September, 1850, he was publicly elevated to the office he now held. He was about to state a fact 1020 to which he requested the attention of the House. On the same night on which Dr. Wiseman's elevation to the rank of Cardinal was publicly announced at Rome, it was also publicly announced that the Pope had appointed him Archbishop of Westminster. On that same night the British Consul at Rome, Mr. Freeborn, placed the Royal arms of England over the grand entrance to his mansion, and illuminated his dwelling from the basement to the attic story. The official organ of the Government, the Globe, half denied that fact; but it was true, and he would state another, which he defied any one to contradict. The aforesaid British Consul, Mr. Freeborn, on the night in question, clothed in his official costume, accompanied the ambassadors and officers representing foreign Courts at Rome to Cardinal Wiseman's levee, and there helped to celebrate the Cardinal's elevation to the office of Archbishop of Westminster. Mr. Freeborn publicly congratulated Cardinal Wiseman on his elevation; and after that it was said, forsooth, that the Motion of the hon. Member for Stafford (Mr. Urquhart), declaring that Ministers had encouraged the Pope in the course he had taken, was not justifiable. The noble Lord at the head of the Government had ventured to talk of the act of the Pope as being the result of an European conspiracy. No one could doubt that if there had been such a conspiracy, the Roman Catholic bishops of Ireland would have told the Roman Catholic Members, in strict confidence, something about it. Nevertheless, he could pledge his word that until the noble Lord volunteered his curious revelation, no Roman Catholic Member ever heard a word about the conspiracy. On the 28th of last June the House was called upon to express an opinion as to the foreign policy of the Government. Upon that occasion there was a trial of strength between the houses of York and Lancaster. The Government had been beaten on the subject in the House of Lords by a majority of thirty-six; and the noble Lord at the head of the Government announced that if he had not an equal majority in the House of Commons in favour of the policy of the noble Secretary for Foreign Affairs, he should resign office. Upon the division the Government were supported by 310 Members, and they obtained a majority of forty-six, of whom twenty-eight were Roman Catholic Members. Was that a proof of a Catholic conspiracy against the policy of the Govern- 1021 ment? If the twenty-eight Roman Catholic Members had voted against the noble Lord, he would have been in a minority of ten; and if only fourteen had done so, his majority would have been twenty less than he required. The Motion now before the House was, that Mr. Speaker should leave the Chair; but he hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would not leave the chair for a month. What he meant was to express a hope that Mr. Speaker would not leave the chair to allow the House to go into Committee on this mischievous and ill-advised measure. What injury, he asked, had the Pope's act worked to any human being? It had been in force since October, and who, he wished to know, had been hurt by it? No one. Then look at the other side of the picture. Pass the Bill, and farewell to peace in Ireland. Upon this point he had read many newspaper paragraphs of an insulting and irritating nature to his fellow-countrymen. A few days ago there appeared in the wide-spread columns of the talented Times, an article ridiculing what it called the boasting propensities of Irishmen, accusing them of talking about pikes, guns, broken bottles, and brimstone, and winding up with Ballingary. That charge was probably, to some extent, well founded. There had sometimes been a good deal of unnecessary boasting—a great deal of what was called in Dublin "Tara-hill talk." But let not the people of England think the Irish were what they had been represented in the public press. That unhappy movement which took place two years ago was not encouraged by the people, and was in reality put down by the Catholic bishops and priests, and not by the Earl of Clarendon. As for calling it "a rebellion," you might as well give that name to a dunghill cock-fight, though but for the Catholic priests and bishops a great deal of trouble might have been caused. But this Bill of pains and penalties would combine the Irish Catholics as one man; and they had sworn upon the altars of their country, that if it were passed, the Government must, in order to put it in execution, step over the dead bodies of the Catholics of Ireland. When the Government were compelled to double their army and police, to make every village a garrison, to pack juries, and to do everything hostile to a population that could be against them, then John Bull would find to his cost that he would haw to put his hand into his pocket to the very elbows to pay the expense. He had heard a great deal on the 1022 previous day that sickened him while they were discussing the clauses of the bigoted and intolerant measure introduced by the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Lacy). He was sickened at the thought that ninety-one English Gentlemen should have voted for a measure, one clause of which the hon. Member for Berkshire (Mr. Robert Palmer) declared to be of so gross a nature that no English gentleman holding the commission of the peace would degrade himself by discharging the duties it enjoined; and especially when he found that these were not exclusively Protestant ascendancy men, but included some free-traders, who had been invariably scolding the Irish Members for not being more consistent in support of what they called enlightened principles; and yet they now recorded their votes in favour of an atrocious measure intended to degrade the virgins of his (Mr. Reynolds') creed, who, without fee or reward, had devoted themselves to the exercise of benevolence and charity. These Gentlemen were anxious to emancipate a loaf of bread at the expense of their Irish neighbours, who sacrificed 3,000,000l. a year for free trade; and yet some of the greatest brawlers for free trade requited the Catholics of Ireland by voting in favour of the hon. Member for Bodmin's Bill. He thought that, party men as they were, they should not have insulted the ladies; they should have known something better, and they should have allowed their gallantry to get the better of their bigotry. He had merely, in conclusion, to remind the noble Lord—[Ironical cries of "Hear!"]—he thanked the free-traders for that ironical cheer—he begged to remind the noble Lord and the Government that they were on the brink of a dangerous precipice, and that if they passed this Bill in its present shape, or in any shape that would interfere with the free action of the Catholic religion in Ireland, they were entering upon a field of strife in which they must come off second best. They were doing that which would embroil the country in discord and disunion for many and many a year. They were doing that which had alienated the feelings of their old and stedfast friends—men who had supported them for no object under Heaven but the purest of all objects, namely, that they thought they were disposed to promote the great principles of civil and religious liberty. He would remind them that the approaching election would confer on the people of Ireland the power of sending 105 Members into that 1023 House; and, as surely as they passed this Bill, they would send into the House at least eighty Members determined to oppose the present Government, or any other Government that pursued the course they had chalked out for themselves, namely, the course of insulting the creed of the people. Let the Government not rely upon squeezable Irish votes. There were certain Irishmen representing liberal Irish constituencies who had given them occasional votes; but let them take care that those men who were grazing on the Bedford Level were not sent by the people of Ireland to less luxuriant grass. Let them take care that they were not sent about their business. The people of Ireland would send there men like himself. ["Hear, hear!"] He repeated, men like him—like him pledged on principle to take every opportunity to weaken the Government, and hurl them from power, or any other Government that attempted to curtail the civil and religious rights of the people of Ireland.
§ MR. WHITESIDE
said, that he felt considerable diffidence in attempting to address the House in the presence of so many Gentlemen, his superiors in knowledge, in talent, and experience; and had the question been one touching the financial affairs of the empire, he should have left it to be discussed by men skilled in political science, and who stood high in the estimation of the House and of the country. The question, however, which they had then to consider was not one of such a nature. It was one in which the constituency he represented, and the Protestant inhabitants generally of the flourishing province to which he belonged, took a deep interest. The act against which the Bill before the House was directed, had stirred the feelings and roused the indignation of the English people, who were generally governed by calm reason, and seldom yielded to the excitements of prejudice or passion. He deeply regretted that he should be compelled to allude even for a moment to Irish politics or to Irish history; there was little in either to invite or to reward inquiry. Would that he could apply to that history the words of Coke—"Let darkness hide it; let oblivion bury it;" adding from his heart a prayer that a bright and happy future might compensate for the gloom and misery of the past. If he were compelled to advert to it for a short time, let him hope that from the examination of the past might be drawn a profitable lesson as to what ought to be 1024 their policy for the future. It should be confessed that the relations of this country and of Ireland towards the Pope of Rome at the present moment were of a peculiar, of an almost unprecedented nature. Very near them was seated in that city a Privy Councillor of the Pope—a member of the Conclave that elected Popes, and one eligible himself to the Popedom, bound by fealty and by an oath of obedience to that Potentate who had heaped on him the highest distinctions which it was in his power to confer, and which the Cardinal had accepted without asking the permission of his lawful Sovereign. The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, as he styled himself, said he was a loyal subject of the Queen, whose interests might certainly clash very materially with the interests of the Pope. And what was it that the Pope had said? He had in his Letter Apostolic reminded the English people of the happy days of the Roman Catholic Church, when Jeffries sat on the Bench, and James on the Throne; and he had announced his determination to rescue the Church of England, as far as he could, by the assertion of his power, from the calamities that had befallen it. In the execution of his gracious purpose, he annulled the ancient dioceses of this country; he had partitioned out the kingdom into new dioceses; and he had announced his intention of dividing the provinces hereafter as he might think expedient; while he forbade any impious mortal to impugn his edicts as null and void. The Cardinal had carried out and executed the commands of his master, and had announced to the people of this country that he governed eight counties and some islands, until his master should otherwise determine. Watchful of opportunities, and guided by the Propaganda, Archbishop Wiseman was ready to act as the Papacy might require. That was the condition in which England at present stood. On Ireland the Pope had lavished extraordinary blessings. Unasked, unexpected, uninvited, Archbishop Cullen (of whom he desired to speak personally with respect) had appeared as the Legate of the Pope in the Protestant city of a Protestant province—in the city of Armagh. He said that he was Archbishop of Armagh, and Primate of all Ireland. He claimed that title by virtue of the Brief of the Pope. Dr. Cullen argued that the Protestant Archbishop of Armagh claimed his title only by virtue of the appointment of the Sovereign of England, confirmed by Parliament, and 1025 by a usage of 300 years; but he considered that title a usurpation, and he proceeded himself to exercise the functions of the office. A commentator on our ancient statutes had observed that there were two modes by which the Popes of Rome had in former times been in the habit of assailing the realm of England; the one by exciting foreign invasion, and the other by fomenting domestic disturbances; that latter mode being the most efficacious. It was certainly a very remarkable thing in the history of Ireland that when physical force was spoken of or applied, religious controversy ceased; and that when the physical-force man was at rest, the priestly agitator sprang up into activity. What was the ground assigned for the conduct pursued by the legate of the Pope in Ireland? The heads of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland had found it necessary to interfere with the provincial colleges, on the ground that those colleges were fraught with danger to the faith and morals of Roman Catholic youths. Now, it was of some little importance to discover whether the heads of the Roman Catholic Church believed that to be true, or whether they had put that forward as a mere pretext to cover their attack on the power and the temporal Government of England in Ireland, while they entertained no such belief, and had no ground for entertaining such a belief. A very few words would, he thought, prove that the latter view of the case must be the correct one. Those who were acquainted with the past history of Ireland knew that long prior to the Union the Irish Parliament had been petitioned by the Roman Catholics to throw open to them the colleges, schools, and the University in Ireland. They had very fairly pressed on the Legislature of Ireland the fact, that while it was said they were ignorant, they were debarred from the means of acquiring knowledge. That argument had prevailed; the Roman Catholics had been allowed to enter with their Protestant fellow-subjects on the walks of literature and science; and the University had been thrown open to them, with its honours, instructions, and preferments, save the fellowships and scholarships, which had been founded exclusively for Protestants. In that Protestant University for sixty years the Roman Catholic gentry of Ireland had been educated; there Mr. Sheil had acquired his brilliant attainments; and there many Gentlemen whom he saw around him, and whose talents and acquirements were well known to and ap- 1026 preciated by the House, had received their education. He admitted that they were much more tolerant than if they had been taught elsewhere; for it was impossible to study the noblest productions of antiquity, and to associate with gentlemen and scholars, without a softening of even religious prejudices. The priesthood and the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church had never interfered with that arrangement—the Pope had never interfered with it—and yet in that University there was a school of divinity, and the Protestant religion was the religion of most of the students. But as it was thought and felt that if provincial colleges were established throughout Ireland, it would be be more to the taste and in accordance with the feelings of the Roman Catholics, and that the Roman Catholics themselves would thereby be the more benefited, it was resolved that they should be established. But what took place prior to their establishment? The Government of Sir Robert Peel appointed a Commission in 1845 to inquire into what would be the fittest place in which to establish the university of Ulster. At that time, it was to be observed, the Roman Catholic Primate was Dr. Crolly. The Chairman of the Commission, one of Her Majesty's counsel, the assistant barrister for Mayo, was applied to by him, for the purpose of obtaining information as to what was the feeling entertained with respect to these institutions by the head of the Roman Catholic Church—that is, before there was felt the operation of foreign influence, and the Pope had expressed his wish on the subject. Well, it was in his power to state what had then occurred. The first personage that was examined was the Primate of the Protestant Church, and he expressed his opinion in favour of the establishment of the Provincial College at Armagh. Who then was the second witness? It was the Roman Catholic Primate, and he gave the strongest testimony in favour of the colleges. He pronounced the establishment in Armagh as a circumstance calculated to be most favourable to faith and morals; and he, the Roman Catholic head of the Roman Catholic Church, proposed himself to endow a professorship, and to subscribe out of his small income 1,000l. for the benefit of the institution. The report of that Commission had never been published; but he had the evidence of the Roman Catholic Primate beside him, of which he had now stated the substance. Upon the same subject the Roman Catholic 1027 bishop in Belfast gave similar testimony. That then was the case with those colleges at the time of the death of Dr. Crolly. He assured them that every step in this transaction required the full attention, of the House. Prior to the appointment of the present Primate, the manner of nominating bishops in Ireland had been long fixed and established. The subject was one that had been inquired into in the House of Lords before the Emancipation Bill had been carried. Bishop Doyle had been examined respecting it, and his evidence was to this effect:—Is the power of the Pope to nominate directly either a native or a foreigner to a Roman Catholic bishopric in Ireland, now acknowledged by the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland?—It is acknowledged by us—he has such power.Has it, in point of fact, ever been exercised?—It has not, in point of fact, ever been exercised to my knowledge.Has any attempt been made to exercise it?—There has not.But he has the right?—I conceive he has.Who names to the office of dean?—The Pope appoints to the office of dean.Have the goodness to inform the Committee in what manner the Roman Catholic bishops are appointed in Ireland?—They are recommended to the Pope by the clergy, or some portion of the clergy, of the vacant diocese, and this recommendation is generally accompanied by one from the metropolitan and suffragans of the province; and upon these recommendations the appointment generally takes place. I should observe that the electors, whoever they may be, elect not one only, but three; however, the person whose name is placed first among the three is, I believe, uniformly appointed by the Pope.He then informed the Committee as to the mode in which the bishops were appointed. Three names were selected—that is, three persons were elected by the parochial clergy, and the invariable practice was for the Pope to appoint the person who was at the head of the list. On the death of Dr. Crolly, the parochial clergy so selected three names, Dr. Dixon, Dr. O'Hanlon, and Dr. Kieran, the last a gentleman that was highly spoken of; one who had a taste for books, and was of a liberal spirit. The Pope of Rome, on that occasion, rendered the election by the parochial clergy of no avail. He set aside the names of the three clergymen, and appointed Archbishop Cullen. The Pope did that which had never, in any instance, been done previously. The Pope thus destroyed domestic elections by the clergy, and, to increase his own power and influence, he nominated an Italian, in order that he might have power over the Roman Catholics in 1028 Ireland to execute his will and that of the Propagando. Dr. Cullen then, uninvited by any human being in Ireland, came to that country in the double character of Archbishop of Armagh, and the legate of the Pope. [Cries of "No, no!" from Roman Catholic Members.] He said yes, and that when they had Archbishop Cullen in Ireland, and Cardinal Wiseman in Westminster, it was vain to hope that religious peace could be preserved in both countries. Archbishop Cullen, then, under his authority as the Papal legate, convened a synod in Ireland; and when he convened a synod, it was one of that nature, that they found in it bishops sitting in judgment upon the acts of the Legislature, and condemning the law of the land in which they lived; and then, when they found this synod was assembled, let them, he said, observe the manner in which it was held, and the matter of it, because in each stage of the transaction it would be seen that the law of the land had been specifically violated—he admitted to the hon. Member for Athlone, and he was very sorry to say it—by and with the consent of the superior Powers. The House was aware that no Roman Catholic monk or friar could appear as such, in his robes, in the streets or thoroughfares. It was a proper precaution. There was a wise and good reason to forbid that or any Papal procession publicly. The law would neither permit it nor sanction it. He had an account of the opening of the synod—he had an account of the procession previous to its being opened. It was very short and interesting, and he would read it, for two reasons: first, to show under what auspices the procession had taken place; and, next, to show what was the character of the procession itself. As to the law forbidding such processions, there could be no doubt about it, and therefore he would not read the clause in the Act of Parliament. This, then, was the procession:—On the opening of the Synod of Thurles, a well-appointed corps of the Irish police force, in full uniforms, attended as a guard of honour upon the procession of the Romish hierarchy from the college to the cathedral. The police were under the orders of Gore Jones, Esq., R.M., and had a very imposing effect. You may read in the newspapers of that period a detailed account of the procession. You may read the Freeman's Journal, the Tipperary Free Press, the Limerick Reporter, and the Nenagh Vindicator. It 1029 was thought in Thurles that the synod was sanctioned by the Government, or Mr. Gore Jones and the police would not have attended. The Hon. Mr. French, the police magistrate, from Cashel, was also present, as were many other persons holding places under the Government. However, very few Protestants showed themselves in Thurles during that time. He could quite understand that. And then there was given an account of the decorations of the clergy; of the robes of the Franciscans, and Augustines, and of every other order known in the Roman Catholic Church, with the splendid pageant of the primates and the bishops, with 'Crosses and banners, something like, he supposed, to what he himself had witnessed in St. Peter's; and then it was stated that as the Papal legate passed the people knelt down to receive the Pontificial benediction, and the troops presented arms as the Papal legate passed along, and paid to him the same honours that were due to the Pope himself. And how justly did the leading journal of the Catholic party triumph in. such an event as this—there was a boldness and a candour in its avowal which he liked. The Parliament had passed an Act by which the Orangemen of Ireland were forbidden to hold these processions, lest their doing so should be regarded as an insult to the Roman Catholics, although those processions were in honour of that anniversary day which had given liberty to them, and liberty to their fellow-subjects in England. But whilst they were forbidden to do this, yet here was a procession of ecclesiastics in the broad daylight. Had any notice been taken of that? He called upon the Attorney General for Ireland to answer him. In no spirit of discourtesy, and with no feeling of disrespect, he called upon the Attorney General for Ireland, as the head of his profession, as the uncorrupted guardian of the public peace, as the firm asserter of the dignity and power of the law, he called upon the right hon. Gentleman to state now, and in presence of that House, whether in his communications with the stipendiary magistrate, or with the head of the constabulary, he had heard of this procession; whether he deemed it legal; and, if not legal, whether he had asserted the law, and punished the transgressors? He ventured to think that the right hon. Gentleman would not maintain that he had done so; and he ventured to prophesy that he never would do so. So, when they passed from the matter to the 1030 manner of the procession, they would find it illegal all through. The gentleman who signed himself "Paul, Primate"—Dr. Cullen, was a gentleman who had been most courteous to himself when he was in Rome, and personally he desired not to say one word disrespectful of him; but that gentleman signed himself Paul, Primate of Ireland. The second name to the document or decree issued by him was signed by John Bishop of Clonfert, the promoter of the synod. The announcement was fairly, freely, distinctly made, that those persons were acting under and by the Papal authority. And here he must say that the hon. Member for Manchester had made a most unfortunate reference to this subject the other night, when he stated that ten of the bishops had been in favour of the provincial colleges, but that there were none now. And why were there none now? Because they no longer had any power—because foreign influence had crushed them. Against their own reason and conscience those bishops had been compelled to condemn colleges which they knew were for the good of Ireland. He had hoped that the University of Dublin and the schools throughout the country might have been spared; but no, in the same spirit in which the provincial colleges were condemned, every other school and university was condemned—every place of education where Protestants might meet their Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen, and enjoy the blessings of mixed education—all were condemned. [Cries of "No, no!"] With great respect it was so, and he referred to the words of the bishops in synod on the subject:—The solemn warning which we address to you against the dangers of those collegiate institutions extends, of course, to every similar establishment known to be replete with danger to the faith and morals of your children—to every school in which the doctrines and practices of your Church are impugned, and the legitimate authority of your pastors set at nought.The University of Dublin would come under this denunciation. It was established for Protestants; the Protestant religion was daily taught there, and its practices were enforced. If then this was now denounced, which had previously been approved of, it would baffle the intellect to discover how the Protestant colleges should have provoked indignation, if that indignation was sincere, unless it was actuated, as he suspected it was, by a wish to revenge upon England her recent transactions in Italy. But the synod did not confine it- 1031 self to this duty alone. It told the people how the rich ought to be dealt with, that is, if there was any rich still to be found in Ireland. It held them up as tyrants to the people; and the conclusion of the sentence pronounced upon them, he was sorry to find coming from Christian heads of a Christian Church. The synod described the rich, and then applied to them words taken from the Scriptures:—The desolating track of the exterminator is to be traced in too many parts of the country—in those levelled cottages and roofless abodes whence so many virtuous and industrious families have been torn by brute force, without distinction of age or sex, sickness or health, and flung upon the highway to perish in the extremity of want. But let not the oppressor and the wrong-doer imagine that the arm of the Lord is shortened in Israel. For 'He will not accept any person against a poor man, and He will hear the prayer of him that is wronged. He will not despise the prayers of the fatherless, nor the widow, when she poureth forth her complaint. Do not the widow's tears run down her cheeks, and her cry against him that causeth them to fall? For from the cheek they go up even to heaven, and the Lord that heareth will not be delighted with them'—(Eccles., chap. xxxv., v. 16, 17, 18, 19). And again, 'Do not violence to the poor man, because he is poor, and do not oppress the needy in the gate. Because the Lord will judge his cause, and will afflict them that have afflicted his soul'—(Proverbs, chap. xxii., v. 22, 23). Hence the woes pronounced by St. James against the perpetrators of such cruelties. 'Go now, ye rich men, weep and howl in your miseries which shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered, and the rust of them shall be for a testimony against you, and shall cat your flesh like fire. You have stored up for yourselves wrath against the last days. Behold the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which by fraud has been kept back by you, crieth, and the cry of them hath entered into the cars of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have feasted upon earth, and in righteousness you have nourished your hearts in the days of slaughter'—(St. James, chap, v., v. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).It was well known what commentary had been pronounced upon these passages by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. But let them look upon that criticism as just or unjust, he would ask if this was becoming conduct in a spiritual synod, assembled for purposes that were purely spiritual?—if, having described the misery of the poor, and their extermination in their native country, there ought not to have been an admission made as to the condition of the gently of the south and west of Ireland, and how their last shilling had been taken from them, under the pressure of a poor-law which it was impossible for them to bear? When this was said, ought not the 1032 admission to be made, if they intended to speak the truth, that the poor were not utterly neglected—that in the city of Armagh, with which he was better acquainted than his Grace himself, there were no better institutions to be found in any place throughout England for the maintenance of the poor? This, then, was the matter and the manner in which the Synod of Thurles was conducted. That it was illegal, who denied? Nobody denied it. It was as the Pope's bishops this declaration was signed; it was as the delegates of the Pope they acted, and their act was illegal—they signed the decree of the Synod, assembled under the edict of the Pope, and in so doing they acted illegally. He said, that if the legal evidence was as strong as the moral conviction as to what had been done, then there had been a clear and open violation of the law. Well, then, what notice of all these proceedings had been taken by the higher authorities in the country? None whatever. He could perfectly well understand and believe that Archbishop Cullen, having passed all his life in a despotic country—having seen there the Papal legate the supreme authority in the State, and that all bowed down with the greatest deference and respect before him who exercised it, thought that the same authority could in Ireland be exercised in a similar manner, and with a like effect, as in Rome. He had voted the other night in support of a proposition to which reference had been made by the hon. Gentleman who had last spoken. He had voted for that proposition on account of four or five facts which had come under his own observation, and to which he desired to attract the notice of the House. It was with the utmost pain that he referred to this subject; but as he voted for what he believed to be the truth, he must trouble the House now, as he did not mean again to refer to it, to state his reasons for the vote he then gave. And with reference to this point, he must say that there was a good deal of truth in what the hon. and learned Member for Athlone had said. On the day that Lord Clarendon arrived in Ireland the Catholic Emancipation Act was in force—that Act which declared Roman Catholic bishops should not assume the territorial titles attaching to Protestant sees. That Act was one of which the Roman Catholic bishops themselves had declared their approbation; he had before him their pastoral address, issued after the Act was passed, declaring their grati- 1033 tude for it with throbbing hearts, and calling on the people of Ireland to respect the enlightened Parliament which passed that law—they declared, too, that they would obey the Jaw, which they regarded as a pledge of tranquillity for the future; and, to show their sincerity, they signed the document in which they made that declaration in that manner which the law permitted them to do. The same law which existed then existed now, and the same rights which they had then they had now, and none other. If he remembered rightly, when he was in the university, he paid his shilling to go and hear the late Master of the Mint (Mr. Sheil) express, in a burst of enthusiastic eloquence, the gratitude which the Roman Catholic laity felt for the passing of the measure of emancipation. By that law, then, it was clear that the Roman Catholic Primate had no right to the title he assumed. The law being clear, then, with respect to the forbidden titles, one would have imagined that the upholders of the law in that country would have paid implicit respect to it themselves, and seen that it was enforced by others. Had the Executive Government done so? Now, when Lord Clarendon arrived in Ireland, he was received by the Protestants of the north most cordially; he was so received as the representative of their gracious and beloved Queen; his manners were prepossessing, his language was fascinating, and there was everything to recommend him to the public favour. But what was Lord Clarendon's conduct as connected with these transactions? The Roman Catholic bishops addressed him shortly after his arrival in 1847. For several days before his elaborate and eloquent reply to that address, a copy of it was placed before him. That address he saw signed by "John, Archbishop of Tuam," and "John Derry, Bishop of Clonfert"—the same Bishop of Clonfert who signed the document, and proclaimed the command of the synod. Was that a legal proceeding? It might be supposed to be an unintentional infringement of the law—the signature "John, Archbishop of Tuam." It might be suggested, that there being no Protestant Archbishop of Tuam, the Catholic prelate might legally take the title; but that was a mistake. The words of the Act of Parliament were, not only that they were not to take a title belonging to another, but that they are not to take any title unless by law authorised to do so. How then comes the individual so signing 1034 himself to be "Archbishop of Tuam?" As to the "Bishop of Clonfert," it was a title that was manifestly and indisputably illegal. Of course he who was responsible to the country for the observance of law and order might have been expected to correct that illegal assumption of titles; but what would be thought when it was known that for five days Lord Clarendon had that address before him; and, not noticing this illegal assumption, he gave to them those titles which they had so long coveted, and towards which they had been making encroachments, and were preparing to make further, for Lord Clarendon styled them "my lords," and "your grace," thanked them for their address, and hoped he should be aided by the counsels of "their Lordships" in managing the affairs of Ireland? What, then, must have been the opinions of these persons on seeing that document? What must have been the opinion of those persons when this reply was made to them, but that they were at liberty to use—not by usurpation, but by favour of the Crown, as represented in Ireland by Lord Clarendon—those titles which the letter and spirit of the law, and the penalties of the law, forbade them to use? From that time forth the Roman Catholic bishops had steadily and regularly pursued the same course. If, when he saw the address presented, signed, "John, Archbishop of Tuam," Lord Clarendon had consulted the first law officer of the Crown in Ireland, he would have told him that the assumption was clearly illegal; and then he should have told the Catholic bishops, that, while he would receive them courteously, and listen to them respectfully, because they were entitled to be courteously received and respectfully listened to, as the bishops of a great portion of the people of Ireland, he would not sanction their violation of the law, and an open breach of an Act of Parliament. Had the matter remained there, it would have been bad enough. This was not all. A few days afterwards Lord Clarendon's secretary undertook to explain the Charitable Bequests Act, and in so doing gave to the bishops jurisdiction and titles to which they had no claim. Lord Clarendon also addressed a letter to the Secretary of the Colonies (Earl Grey), stating that the Act of Parliament (the Bequests Act) had ascertained the rank of the Roman Catholic prelates, and advising that it should be given to them in the Colonies, thus bringing confusion into the Colonies by the Roman Catholic prelates 1035 claiming rank superior to that of the bishops of the Church of England. It was afterwards admitted that this was wrong, and the blame was cast by the noble Lord at the head of the Colonies on Lord Clarendon. There was then the Gazette, specifying the rank of distinguished persons at the levee when Her Majesty visited Ireland; and rank was then given to the Roman Catholic archbishops above the peerage of the realm. There were two speeches which had been delivered in the bourse of the discussions on the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, the one by the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright), and the other by the hon. and learned Member for Athlone, on which he wished before concluding to make a few remarks. As to the speech of the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright), he should have wished to say a few words in reply, but he believed it: would not be according to the usages of the House to do so, as the hon. Member was not then in his place. He should have wished to say a word in defence of that Church which the hon. Member had so unsparingly assailed; and he confessed it was with as much astonishment as regret he had heard that hon. Gentleman so violently attack a Church in which a great majority of his fellow-countrymen believed, and which was enshrined in the hearts and affections of so many. He had been astonished too to hear the hon. Gentleman, who was such an asserter of popular rights, ridiculing the public meetings which had taken place in various parts of England, and asserting that Parliament ought not to yield to a popular cry. Such was the sentiment of one of the most distinguished champions of the people, and he was astonished at him. The speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Athlone had filled him, he must confess, with regret. If the hon. Gentleman had appealed to the Parliament's sense of justice, he should have heard him with pleasure; but he did not expect that in a British House of Commons the hon. Gentleman would have appealed to any sentiment of fear, except the fear of doing injustice. If the hon. Gentleman was in earnest in saying that he would insure this country twenty years of angry agitation in Ireland—[Mr. KEOGH: I said no such thing.] He certainly understood the hon. Gentleman to say that he would draw the sword and never sheathe it until he had obtained vengeance over the oppressors, and that the people of Ireland would agree 1036 with him in that sentiment. He denied both the hon. Gentleman's facts and his inferences. The Protestant people of Ireland, in number at least 2,500,000—[Cries of "Oh!" from the Roman Catholic benches.] Yes. When Sir Robert Peel proposed the measure of Roman Catholic Emancipation he said there were 1,200,000 Protestants in Ulster alone. Now, it was sometimes alleged that Connaught was nearly desolate and waste. Thus, when it was desired by those who agreed with the hon. Member for Athlone to intimidate Parliament, it was said that they, the Irish Catholics, were 8,000,000; but when it was thought necessary to attack the Imperial Legislation, then it was represented that Ireland had lost 2,000,000 of her population. If, as the hon. Gentleman had asserted, it were true, as he hoped it was not true, that the Roman Catholic people of Ireland would, because the ancient law of the land was asserted, depriving them of no right, combine against England, then he (Mr. Whiteside) must say on the part of the Protestant people of that country, that in heart, affection, and action, they would be with this country. In all periods of their history they have adhered to this country. They imitate your industry, they admire your virtue, they profess your faith, and love your laws; and if you be true to them, and just to yourselves, they would rather perish with you than abandon you. As to myself, I cling to the hope of the prosperity of the whole body of the people; and, according to my political faith, a consummation so glorious would be accomplished if all classes of my countrymen would permit themselves to be directed by your counsels, guided by your wisdom, and inspired by your example.
§ MR. KEOGH
begged to offer a word in explanation. What he had said had been misunderstood. He had not threatened the House or the Government with going on with an agitation for twenty years. What he did say was, that he deprecated any proceeding which would have a tendency to inflict on the country an agitation to which no one would be more opposed than himself. With respect to the drawing of the sword, the noble Lord at the head of the Government had put a more just meaning upon the phrase when he ascribed it to a metaphorical style.
§ MR. LAWLESS
said, in consequence of the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Whiteside), whom they 1037 had just heard, it became necessary that some answer should be given to his statements, and particularly on account of his attack on the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General for Ireland. He therefore moved that the debate be adjourned.
§ MR. MOORE
said, he entirely agreed in the Motion made by his hon. Friend (Mr. Lawless); and after the attack made upon the religion—he might say the country—by the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Whiteside), a reason was furnished why an opportunity should be afforded to others to reply to a speech the virulence of which had been only equalled by its miserable failure. Ireland was avenged that night in the person of the hon. and learned Gentleman; and that reputation which he had achieved in defending the liberties of his country was utterly lost that night. [Loud cries of "Oh, oh!" "Divide, divide!"] He could assure hon. Gentlemen that they would not gain any time by the course they were pursuing; but he would state—["Oh, oh!"] Until hon. Gentlemen gave him a few minutes hearing he would persevere in addressing the House. There was another reason why he should wish the debate to be adjourned; for the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Whiteside) had not only impugned the prelates of the Roman Catholic religion, but also the prelates of his own. The hon. and learned Gentleman had told them that the national system of education was founded on right and justice. He would ask what the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford (Sir Robert Inglis) or the hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Napier) would say to that? The only point the hon. and learned Gentleman had made was that stale joke about the right hon. and learned Attorney General for Ireland, and he thought that right hon. and learned Gentleman ought to have an opportunity of explaining himself.
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
said, he should have been quite willing to agree to the adjournment, but that that was the thirteenth night of the debate; and he was more especially opposed to it when he considered the mode in which petitions had been presented that night to the House. He would, therefore, take the sense of the House on the question of adjournment.
§ MR. REYNOLDS
, who rose amid loud cries of "Spoke!" and "Divide!" said, as 1038 the noble Lord at the head of the Government has assigned as one of the reasons for not consenting to an adjournment, the mode in which petitions were presented to-night, I beg to say, Sir, this cap fits me, and I wear it. Now, permit me to ask the noble Lord in sober seriousness, if he, bearing in mind the rule preventing Members from reading petitions, and tying them up to a certain form in presenting the same—[Loud cries of "Oh, oh!" and "Divide!"] Hon. Members may take their time—I will take mine. The few words I have to address to the House will occupy much less time than the interruption. I beg to remind the House—[Cries of "Divide!"] they will not divide until I have done. I am under the protection of the Chair; and, Sir, under your protection, I claim the right of speaking. The noble Lord refuses to agree to the adjournment of the debate, and he assigns as a reason the mode in which petitions were presented to-night. I have already said that cap fits me, and I wear it. The petitions which I presented emanated from twenty-two localities where meetings were held in the chapels on last Sunday. On that occasion 1,500 simultaneous meetings were held in the chapels in Ireland. We have instructions from those who feel aggrieved by the Bill before the House not to present those petitions in the lump for the accommodation of the noble Lord; and I will assert the right of the House to read the title of all petitions I may present—I will state their prayer, the number of persons who have signed the same, or such other particulars as the forms of the House will permit; and I will make no apology to the noble Lord for the exercise of that privilege. In conclusion, I give the noble Lord notice that there are still many hon. Members who will discuss the question before Mr. Speaker leaves the chair. I consequently shall vote for the adjournment.
§ MR. O'FLAHERTY
said, the noble Lord at the head of the Government had accused an hon. Member of having presented petitions in an unbecoming manner. Now, he believed, that if anything irregular or unbecoming was done, it would be the duty of Mr. Speaker, not the noble Lord, to correct it. For his own part, he was determined to present all the petitions intrusted to him, according to the rules of that House.
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That the Debate be now adjourned."1039
§ The House divided:—Ayes 46; Noes 359: Majority 313.
§ Question again proposed.
§ MR. R. M. FOX
said, that he, as a Protestant, was anxious to have an opportunity of stating his opinions on new matter which had been introduced into the debate, and particularly on the attack made on the Roman catholic hierarchy of Ireland; and, therefore, he should move the adjournment of the House.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
said, that if hon. Gentlemen were really anxious to address the House, on new matter which they conceived had been introduced in the course of the debates, he could understand the desire for an adjournment for that purpose. And if that, and not mere delay, was the object, he would not oppose that desire, but consent to the adjournment of the debate.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Debate further adjourned till To-morrow.
§ Notice taken that forty Members were not present; House counted; and forty Members not being present, the House was adjourned at Two o'colck.