HC Deb 11 April 1853 vol 125 cc923-95

Order for Third Reading read.

Motion made and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third Time."


said, that having up to this time taken no part in the discussion of this important question, but entertaining, as he did, a very strong opinion on the subject, he trusted he should be permitted to state to the House the more prominent reasons which induced him to think they should now resist the further progress of this Bill. He was the more anxious to do this, partly in consequence of the discussion which took place in Committee, and the strange admissions which were then made on the part of the Government; and partly, he must also say, in consequence of the somewhat singular, certainly surprising, answer which he had heard from the noble Lord the Member for the City of London this evening to the question of his right hon. Friend the Member for Droitwich (Sir John Pakington). It was clear to his mind, from the discussion which took place in Committee, that at the time when this Bill was first introduced, the principle upon which it had been recommended to the House was not strictly that upon which it had been framed—nay, more, he thought it would appear that the force, the effect, the main object of the measure, was not exactly what it was represented to be, but that it would have an operation different from that which at any rate constituted the principle upon which it was said to be founded. Now, it was for these reasons that he was more particularly anxious to address the House on the present occasion; and he wished the House to observe exactly how the matter stood. When the Bill was read a second time, they were told that the great object of the measure was to give to the Canadian Legislature the fullest power over all matters of purely local concern and interest; but when they examined the Bill in Committee, they found that it would not be confined in its operation to matters which were clearly of local interest; but that, in fact, it related to investments made in this country, and would enable the Canadian Legislature to deal with those investments under the plea of local self-government, though no local interest was in any way affected by such investments. Again, at the time of the second reading of the Bill they were told that the effect of it would be to put the English and Scotch Churches upon precisely the same footing as the Roman Catholic Church in Canada; but when that question was examined in Committee, it appeared that they were placed on a very different footing, and that the endowments given to the Roman Catholics could not be touched without the concurrence of the Imperial Parliament; whilst the endowments given to the Protestants in Canada could be touched, and could be dealt with, and could be destroyed, by a majority of the Canadian Legislature alone. Further, at the time of the second reading of the Bill they were told, and properly told, that there were certain existing interests reserved for those to whom they now belonged, on the ground that the faith of the Crown was pledged to maintain them. But when Her Majesty's Ministers were pressed to give an answer as to the way in which that pledge was given, no answer could be elicited, because they knew, if they looked at those Acts of Parliament, that the faith of the Crown was no more pledged to those particular interests than it was pledged to maintain the whole of these reserves. And lastly, at the time of the second reading of the Bill, they were told that the settlement of 1840 was not a compact in the sense of its being a national engagement; but when they got into Committee the 3rd clause was withdrawn from the Bill, upon the express ground that the settlement of 1840 was a compact, as far as it affected the liabilities of this country. Then mark the consequence. The consequence was, that the prior obligation resting upon Canada, in respect of which the guarantee was given by this country might be entirely taken away by the Canadian Legislature, so as to accelerate the risk of our own liability, which, as matters stood, could never arise if Canada discharged that prior obligation. Now, these were inconsistencies and anomalies with reference to this Bill which convinced him that it was not drawn up with that consideration which he should have expected from Her Majesty's Ministers. He could only account for them in one of two ways: either because the Government was divided upon the question; or because—which he thought was perhaps as much the truth—that when the matter came to be discussed, they felt that the Bill, as it originally stood, was not, with reference to what was done in 1840, either wise or just. That being so, let them examine upon what principles the Bill was founded, and what were the considerations mainly inducing the Government to bring it in. The principles upon which it was founded, and the considerations which had induced the Government to bring it in, were most ably stated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and he (Mr.Walpole) thought the argument upon which the Government justified the measure so put by the right hon. Gentleman, might resolve itself into these two main points: first, that it was the duty of Par- liament to give to the Canadian Legislature the largest powers with reference to matters of purely local self-government; and, secondly, that if those powers were in any way diminished or abridged by them, there would be danger of provoking discontent in the colony, or, as the right hon. Gentleman forcibly put it, danger of occasioning a collision between the Colonial Legislature and the Imperial Parliament. Now these, he took it, were the main considerations which had induced the Government to bring in this Bill. Well, let them see how the matter stood. He was not going to dispute the question of local self-government, for he believed he had advocated that question long before some of the Gentlemen opposite had ever dreamt of it. He was for giving local self-government in the fullest sense of the word, to the different Colonies as soon as they were capable of receiving and undertaking the duties and responsibilities of constitutional government. But he put the case upon this ground—that he doubted very much whether the question of local self-government did strictly arise upon the present occasion. He doubted it for these reasons—because he thought there were Imperial obligations resting upon this Imperial Parliament, whereby they were bound to take care that certain rights, which were guaranteed by this Parliament, should be preserved to those for whom they were intended. Now, if that were so, it was their business to inquire whether the Imperial Parliament had not duties to discharge with reference to this question which it could not delegate to other parties unless it was satisfied that those other parties would discharge the duties so delegated to them as well as themselves. But he asked them, were they satisfied that this was the case? Supposing they were to delegate to the Canadian Legislature the duties which were imposed upon them, or which they had imposed upon themselves by the Act of 1791 and the Act of 1840—supposing they were to delegate these duties to the Canadian Legislature, were they sure that the Canadian Legislature, with all the influences that pressed upon it, was capable of dealing with that question as they themselves would be prepared to do? Were they sure that it was capable of adjusting all the differences which had arisen, and which would arise, between the different religious bodies—between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants—between the Presbyterians and the Episcopalians—between those who were the advocates of pure secularisation, and those who were the advocates of religious endowments? Unless they were satisfied of that they could not delegate these duties to the Canadian Legislature. He was satisfied that the Imperial Parliament had duties to discharge with reference to this matter which it could not delegate. It was the Imperial Parliament which made the settlement of 1840. By that settlement a compromise of rights was effected—a compromise which was afterwards matured, according to the opinion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, into a distinct compact. The Imperial Parliament prescribed the trusts under which this property was to be held; and it guaranteed those trusts in perpetual continuance, partly by the declaration in the preamble of the statute that the settlement was a final one, and partly by providing that it should not be disturbed without the concurrence of Parliament itself. Well, that was the position in which they now stood. The Imperial Parliament had duties to discharge with regard to those reserves which it could not delegate, because there was a trust imposed on these reserves. That being so, it was idle to talk of the question of self-government, because, in point of fact, there were obligations anterior to the question of self-government resting upon those lands; and unless those obligations were discharged, a breach of trust was plainly committed. It was said by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he thought the trust would be duly fulfilled, because he believed the Canadian Legislature would deal with the question as fairly as this House itself. The right hon. Gentleman stated that these trusts would be duly fulfilled, because he believed that the Canadian Legislature would deal with this question as the Imperial Parliament itself would, and that it would not secularise the reserves; but was there—he would not say a single Gentleman—but anything like a majority of Gentlemen, in this House, who entertained the opinion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that these reserves would not be secularised the moment the Bill became law? Well, but, if these reserves were secularised, in what position would Parliament be now placed? Why, they would be in the position of a trustee who had at this moment a control over those funds; and, knowing this, they were allowing the funds to be so dealt with that they would be disposed of in a manner contrary to the express terms of the trust by which they were held. How could they do this without making themselves gravely responsible? He need not remind them that they could not enable a person to do a wrongful act unless they made themselves equally guilty and equally responsible with the party by whom that was done. Assuming then, for a moment, that there was this trust, he denied altogether that the strict question of local self-government arose now. If it did, he (Mr. Walpole) would concur with them in giving to the Canadian Legislature the full power of local self-government which they said they ought to enjoy; but he denied the premises, and therefore resisted the conclusion. But then arose the question, was there such a trust, or was there not such a trust? The answer to that question would be determined by reference to the statutes or charters by which these reserves were originally given to the Protestant clergy, and subsequently confirmed to them. He (Mr. Walpole) believed that their title to those reserves was almost coeval with the British possession of Canada. These grants were made with the intention of promoting Protestantism in Canada. At the time of the cession Canada was peopled by a French population, who were Roman Catholic in religion. In 1774 the Parliament of this country most wisely, in his opinion, secured to the Roman Catholic clergy of Canada all the accustomed dues and rights to which they were entitled, and all the property of which they stood possessed; but at the same time it was deemed desirable to encourage a Protestant emigration to those new possessions; and consequently other dues and rights were secured by the same Acts to the Protestant clergy who should be established in the colony without entrenching on the dues and rights that had previously been appropriated to the Roman Catholic clergy. Accordingly the Royal proclamation of 1775 gave one-seventh of the un-appropriated lands in Canada as a reserve for the uses of the Protestant clergy in promoting religious education and knowledge. The titles of the Roman Catholic and Protestant clergy in Canada, therefore, rested on the same foundation. Both were secured under the guarantee of the same Act of Parliament, and by reference to the same Royal charter. If the title of the one was shaken, that of the other would be shaken also. The Constitutional Act of 1791 distinctly confirmed this grant. The right hon. Chief Commissioner of the Board of Works had rested his argument mainly on that statute, and thought it gave a less clear and permanent right to the Protestant clergy of the Churches of England and Scotland than the Act of 1775. That statute, however, was to effect and promote the King's desire in making a permanent appropriation of lands in Canada for the support and maintenance of a Protestant clergy within the said provinces. One-seventh of the lands then un-appropriated was allotted for this purpose; and it was expressly declared that "the rents and profits should be applicable solely to the maintenance and support of a Protestant clergy, and to no other uses or purposes whatsoever." It was said there was a varying power in that statute which enabled the Canadian Legislature to deal with these reserves. He thought there was no such power, and that the clause which was said to be an enabling clause, was, in fact, a restraining clause. The Constitutional Act of 1791 gave to the Canadian Legislature the fullest power of legislating on Canadian matters, with certain restraints, before the assent or dissent of the Crown could be expressed upon any of their Acts. Those powers were contained in the statute of 1791, before they came to the 42nd clause, which was the important one, and that clause, instead of being an enabling clause, was a restraining clause; for, instead of enabling the Canadian Legislature to deal with these reserves as they might deal with other matters, it prohibited the Crown from assenting to any law which dealt with them unless the Bill had been laid before Parliament for thirty days; and if either House refused its concurrence in the Bill, and addressed the Crown on the subject within thirty days, then the Crown was actually restrained from giving such assent, although the Canadian Legislature expressly desired it. Moreover, it must be remembered that when these appropriations were made, all the lands were the property of the Crown, and the Crown had as much right to make these appropriations to religious bodies for the purposes of religion as to dedicate them to any other purpose. The Crown did so dedicate these lands; Parliament confirmed that dedication; and thus an endowment was made and a pledge given that the trust so created should not be violated. He contended that a pledge was given that the permanence of the trusts should not be altered; and if that were so, in what way would they displace the right? Was the title ever disputed until quite recently? It was true that in 1819 there was a contest as to the mode in which the reserves should be distributed, but that contest did not apply to the title: for it applied solely to the persons who might claim any share in them. It was true, also, that from 1827 to 1839, the House of Assembly of Upper Canada tried to deal with these reserves for educational purposes; but the Legislative Council always resisted these attempts; the Home authorities always resisted them; and consequently no change was made affecting the title of these reserves in the Act of 1791 until 1840. In 1840 the question was fully discussed; but in what way were the reserves dealt with on that occasion? They were dealt with by the 7 & 8 Vict., c. 78, in nearly the same way as they had been dealt with by the Colonial Legislature in the Act which that body had sent over the previous year. That Act of the Colonial Legislature declared in terms that the reserves were held exclusively for religious purposes, and that the English and Scotch Churches were entitled to share in the proceeds of those sales in such proportions as were fixed upon, while the residue has to be disposed of according to the numbers of the different religious bodies; and the only difference between that Colonial Act and the Imperial statute of 1840 was, that whereas the one laid it down that the residue of the proceeds should be distributed in certain proportions to the religious bodies named, the other proposed that they should be distributed according to the directions of the Executive Council. The Act of the Colonial Legislature and the Act of Parliament recognised the principle of referring the reserves to religious purposes; the Parliament that made that settlement, and the Canadian Legislature which accepted that settlement, considered it to be permanent, and so it continued until 1850, as far as the people and Parliament of England were concerned. This was abundantly proved by the statement of the noble Lord the Member for London, who said, in 1840, that it was far better to settle the whole question at once, and by a single enactment. It was also proved by the statute itself, which declared the settlement so made final. Then, as far as Canada was concerned, it was proved, not only by colonial legislation, but by the declaration of parties then in the Legislature, who were now among the most active in moving the repeal of the Act of 1840. In the year 1846, Mr. Baldwin, the late Attorney General of Upper Canada, declared, during a debate on the reserves— That the Bill passed by the Legislature of Upper Canada in 1840 led to a final disposal of the question by the Imperial Parliament; that he called on hon. Members to mark his words that, if the question were reopened, former fierce agitation would be resumed; that, so much did he dread the renewal of agitation, that he had in every instance and in toto discountenanced such a course; and that he therefore pressed upon both sides of the House to forbear reviving the question. Let him cite another opinion delivered at the same time in the same place. Mr. Price, in 1846, in the same House of Assembly declared— That the settlement under Lord Sydenham had been considered final; that peace had succeeded the long and fierce conflict, and that the country was settling down, in the hope that agitation on that subject was at an end; and that, although three-fourths of the people believed that the arrangement was made on injustice and partiality, they quietly submitted, as the only means of restoring peace to the land; that proportionate to that hope would be the grief and excitement produced by the reopening of the question. Yet the same Mr. Price, who in 1846 delivered this opinion, was precisely the gentleman under whose auspices agitation had recommenced in Canada for the purpose of destroying the settlement which so recently he had declared to be final. A third member of the Colonial Legislature (Mr. Cameron) said on the same occasion— That he was one of those who acquiesced in the settlement, and, for the sake of peace, wished never to hear it again; and that he warned the House to let the Act of the Imperial Government take its course. Let the land be sold, and the different churches get the proceeds, in strict accordance thereto. The question so discussed in the Colonial Legislature was referred to a Committee of the House, and the Report of that Committee was to this effect:— That the excitement which so unhappily existed on the subject for so many years was at length set at rest by the Imperial statute 3 & 4 Vict., c. 78; that it was intended to be a final settlement of the question; that, notwithstanding the inequality of the division, it was accepted by the inhabitants of the province as such; and that no change or deviation from the system then existing should be sanctioned by the Legislature. He (Mr. Walpole) therefore asked the House whether it was wise or even decent to ask the Imperial Parliament to set aside a settlement which the Imperial Parliament had then solemnly made, and which the Canadian Parliament and Canadian people had thus solemnly accepted? What were men to trust to if they were not to trust to such guarantees as these? He had shown, he hoped, to the satisfaction of the House, that there had been a trust created for the purpose in question, and that Parliament was bound to see that trust fully executed. If, indeed, there ever was a settlement solemnly made—if ever there was a guarantee distinctly given—if ever there was a duty decidedly imposed—that settlement, that guarantee, that duty was plainly here; and, therefore, the House could not pass the Bill before it without violating the obligation of this national engagement. He hardly knew if any other argument was requisite to prove the existence of a trust; but if one was wanted it was furnished by the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when the House was last in Committee on the Bill. What was the justification of that right hon. Gentleman on the part of the Government for withdrawing the third clause? The right hon. Gentleman on that occasion told the House in a manner the spirit and not the letter of which was intended to be departed from by Her Majesty's Government, that he himself— Was a party in 1840, with his noble Friend the Member for the City of London, to the arrangements which then took place on this subject; and he really must say that it appeared to him that nothing could be more distinct than the provisions of that Act, which amounted, both in spirit and in letter, to a compact between this country and that colony. It was not merely a compact by construction, but a compact of the most distinct kind. If, then, this were so, why, in enforcing the obligation of this distinct compact on this country, why was not a similar obligation enforced on the other parties? Who had ever before heard of a compact divided and parcelled out into several obligations, unequally binding? A compact was whole and entire in its nature and in its character; and that which was binding on the one of the parties to it, was equally binding on them all; one provision could not be selected for performance, and all the others rejected. If, therefore, there was a compact, it was under that compact this country was rendered liable to a guarantee of 10,000l. per annum to the Canadian clergy in case the Canadian Legislature took possession of the reserve fund, and the residue was inadequate for the purposes of that fund, namely, religious instruction. Where, however, was the obligation on Canada? The noble Lord had told them that night, in reply to the right hon. Baronet the Member for Droitwich, that if the Canadian Legislature thought fit to secularise the property in question, the opinion of the law officers of the Crown was that this country would not be bound by the guarantee which it had given. Surely it was not seriously propounded that a guarantee so solemnly given was to be set aside by reason of a subsequent event, not at all contemplated at the time it was given? Was the gurantee so given not intended to be in the nature of a bonâ fide obligation, as regarded the Churches of England and Scotland in Canada? Could it be said to be gone, if the letter was gone, though the spirit remained? Gone, however, it could not be, when he (Mr. Walpole) remembered the words of the noble Lord himself and the late Sir Robert Peel on the subject, in 1840. On the 6th July in that year, the noble Lord, after describing the changes which had been made in the Bill then before the House, in consequence of the communications that had taken place between the Archbishop of Canterbury on the part of the Church of England, the noble Lord himself on the part of the Government of the day, and Sir Robert Peel and the Duke of Wellington as representing that part of which the Chancellor of the Exchequer was then a Member, informed the House of the result of the conference in these words:— There was this further proposition, that such being the general division of the proceeds of the clergy reserves, with respect to the one-fourth which was already sold, and the proceeds of which were already partly invested in the funds of this country, and standing in the names of trustees, it was proposed, reverting to the principle which used to be adopted, and was agreed to by Parliament, but which was changed in 1833, when some modification was made by the noble Lord opposite, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, that the whole of the proceeds now payable to the Church of England and Church of Scotland out of the revenue of Upper Canada, should be guaranteed permanently to the Church of England and the Church of Scotland. The amount now paid to the Church of England was 7,700l., and to the Church of Scotland 1,580l."—[3 Hansard, lv. 465.] And yet the Government of which the noble Lord was now a Member had brought in a Bill which, one clause being withdrawn, would have the effect of enabling the Canadian Legislature, if they saw fit, to secularise the whole of these reserves, England being at the same time, in the opinion of Her Majesty's law officers, freed from any obligation to observe the compact she had so solemnly made with her colony. He (Mr. Walpole) would not describe the transaction in the terms which it might deserve; but he would say that to become a party to it would be for Parliament to "keep the word of promise to the ear, and break it to the hope." Such, then, was the opinion of the noble Lord in 1840. What was the opinion of Sir Robert Peel? Did he refuse to accept the offer made by the Archbishop of Canterbury? Did he say the guarantee was not to be permanent? The contrary would be seen on reference to his observations. On that occasion Sir Robert Peel said— I think that the proposition made by the Archbishop of Canterbury, distinguished as well for his high station as for his moderation, comes recommended by justice as well as forbearance. On the part of the Church of England, all obstacles are removed from the disposal of the whole of the reserve lands. The Church seeks not to reserve to herself any of these lands. After the decision of the Judges, the Church of Scotland is admitted to the same right as the Church of England; and the only difference which exists is, the difference arising from the number of adherents which belong to each. With this proposition, acquiesced in by the two Churches, permitting the sale of the whole of the reserve lands, with the guarantee in perpetuity of the present amount with one-third of the proceeds of the future sale, that is a proposal recommended by its intrinsic importance, as well as by its justice and moderation."—[3 Hansard, lv. 468.] He (Mr. Walpole), therefore, deeply regretted to hear from the noble Lord that this guarantee was not to be kept in case the Canadian Legislature should see fit to appropriate the clergy reserve fund to educational or other secular purposes. He (Mr. Walpole) had now submitted to the House those points upon which it would have to come to a decision in dealing with the question—namely, first, that the reserve fund was in the nature of a trust; secondly, that it was the duty of Parliament to see this trust properly discharged; and, thirdly, that this trust was intended upon its creation to serve as a final and permanent settlement of the whole subject. He wished, however, before he concluded, to revert to one point which had been very much pressed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer—namely, the evil consequences likely to ensue from rejecting the Bill before the House; but whatever those evils might be, it appeared to him (Mr. Walpole) that those certain to arise from its adoption were infinitely greater. The right hon. Gentleman said that the danger would be that the rejection would create discontent in Canada, and cause a collision between the local Legislature and the Imperial Parliament. He (Mr. Walpole) was not insensible to that danger; but still he had so strong a sense of the justice of the cause—and he had, moreover, such confidence in the integrity and good sense of the people and Legislature of Canada, that he believed that they would still be willing to acquiesce in the existing settlement if the Imperial Parliament were to point out to them that they, in common with it, were bound in good faith and honour to observe it. At all events the experiment was one which ought to be tried; and he would say to the Government, "Be just, and fear not." If they were just in the matter, he, for one, did not believe that the Canadian people would wish them for a moment to perpetrate an injustice such as that in question, which would weigh on their consciences, and disgrace the country. But when the right hon. Gentleman talked about the evil consequences of rejecting the Bill, he (Mr. Walpole) begged their attention to those evil consequences which would inevitably accrue from passing it into law. In the first place, it would establish, in fact, the voluntary principle in regard to religious instruction in Canada, by the destruction of the endowment provided for that object. In the second place, a great risk would be run of exciting religious strife in that colony with reference to those sects whose endowments remained untouched; and, in the third place, the confidence of a large portion of the colonists in the protection which ought to be afforded by the Imperial Government would be effectually shaken. The first of these consequences, he believed, the Government to be as unwilling to see as he was himself; indeed, the Chancellor of the Exchequer had expressed a hope and an expectation that if the Canadian Legislature was left free to deal with the matter as they thought fit, they would not fail to see the propriety of continuing those endowments for the purpose of religious instruction. The noble Lord himself had admitted, on a former evening, the futility of the voluntary system as regarded education: à fortiori it could scarcely be contended that it would be found valid in regard to religion. He (Mr. Walpole) did not mean to deny that in large towns and populous countries the voluntary system might not, to a certain extent, succeed, even in Canada; but in the more thinly-inhabited dis- tricts, when the population was sparse and wide-spread, it was perfectly clear that the poorer and more scattered portion of this population could not hope to obtain the means of religious instruction except by the care and provision of the Government. Unless, therefore, the House was prepared to adopt the voluntary system, he implored it to pause in the course proposed by the Government. He knew that many persons in that House thought that the commercial principle of demand and supply was applicable to religious instruction; but the case of religion was wholly different from that of an article of commerce. In fact, the demand was in the inverse ratio of the actual need. The greater the amount of ignorance the less was the desire for instruction; the stronger the passions, the vices, and the follies of man, the less was his inclination to place them under that religious restraint which was the only safeguard to virtue. The absolute necessity of retaining religious endowments, therefore, was obvious, more especially when, as in Canada, they were not charged upon individual property, and did not operate injuriously or vexatiously, but were solely derived from the sale of unappropriated lands vested in a fund for the purpose. Since, then, religious endowments existed in Canada, not of an exclusive nature, but distributed and distributable among all religious denominations, and since it could not be expected that religious instruction could be had without these aids, he entreated the House, upon every principle of sound policy, and even upon every principle of expediency, as well as upon every principle of honour and of justice, to maintain these endowments in their integrity, and to refuse its assent to the Bill. The second evil consequence that would flow, in his opinion, from the passing of the measure, was the danger to be apprehended of promoting religious strife and sectarian differences in Canada with reference to the question of other endowments not touched by the Bill. He pointed out at the time that the Roman Catholic endowments and the Protestant endowments rested on the same foundation. But when the Protestant clergy had their endowments taken from them, would there be no agitation with respect to the Roman Catholics who retained their endowments? The Roman Catholics might think that the majority was with them, who would yield them its support. But he owned he doubted the policy of relying on such a security. He had thought much, and anxiously, on the subject. He saw everywhere, in every part of the world, the seeds of religious strife growing up; and he, for one, would never do anything calculated to add to the misfortune, and the alarming consequences which were necessarily conceded to such a condition of things. Was there any way by which these alarming consequences might now be averted? He believed there was one, and only one, way, and that way was, to maintain with a just, but at the same time with a firm and vigorous hand, every compact which had ever been made under the bond of national engagement, for the benefit of any religious body, so long as the purpose for which that compact was made shall not be perverted from its plain and original intention. That was the test which ought to be applied to all alike, and to that test would he adhere, as the one best capable of maintaining religious peace. Take any other course, and religious animosity would be provoked; and he feared that animosity would be greatly increased if Parliament should withhold its protecting hand; for Parliament had a protecting hand, which it was bound to manifest over all the dominions of the British Crown, by defending the weak against the strong, and not by fighting with the strong against the weak. He was not sure he should have adverted to this point at all if it had not been for the unhappy, he might almost say the fatal, expression—fatal, he meant, to religious peace—caused by the words which fell from his hon. Friend opposite, the Under-Secretary for the Colonies (Mr. Peel). His hope had been that the phrase had fallen from the hon. Gentleman inadvertently. Had it been so, he, for one, should never have alluded to it; but though the hon. Gentleman had explained that phrase, he had also repeated it. The phrase was this, that "the measure before the House would shake the confidence of the Protestant clergy in the perpetuity of religious endowments." Let him warn the hon. Gentleman of this, that he could not shake the confidence of the Protestant clergy in religious endowments, without shaking the confidence, not only of the Roman Catholic clergy, but of the clergy of every Church in the world, in the maintenance of any endowments whatever. It was for this reason he earnestly entreated the House to pause before it passed a Bill shaking the confidence of one Church in the endowments which belonged to them, and at the same time "laying the flattering unction" to their minds, that the confidence of other Churches in their endowments would not also be shaken; nay, he would add, that faith in the stability in the very system of endowments might thus be impaired, or altogether taken away. The third evil consequence which he thought would follow from the adoption of this measure was the loss of confidence on the part of the colonists in the protection they felt in, and which ought to be afforded by, the British Government. Upon this part of the question his conclusions were strong. He believed that perfect faith in the British Parliament and the British Crown was one of the main encouragements for promoting colonial interests and colonial enterprise. But if that confidence was once shaken by the withdrawal from the colonists of those advantages they had hitherto enjoyed, a blow would thereby be struck at colonisation itself; for the better kind of emigrants would not go to distant lands unless those advantages which they speculated upon at home were secured to them when they emigrated. Those advantages Government were taking away. The emigrant would say, that rather than go to a colony where so much uncertainty prevailed, he would prefer going to some other colony which was not a colony of the British Crown, and where he might obtain some greater security for all the advantages which he expected to find there. He would tell them of America, which, after separation from the mother country, respected the endowments granted to the Church of England, and held them inviolate. He would tell them, that even after their possessions had been a long time held by other occupants, the Courts of America had restored them to the purposes for which they were destined. Under those circumstances, did Government think that the emigrants would not draw comparisons for themselves, and that those comparisons would not be to our advantage? Would they not say that Republican America had preserved to those, not then her subjects, rights which had been granted to them by another power—rights which Monarchy in the present case proposed to withdraw? He was convinced there was only one mode of properly dealing with our great Colonial empire, and that was to treat them as if they were part of and one with ourselves. In the same way, therefore, that they would give to any town within this island municipal institutions which would enable it to deal with its own local interests, so ought they to give representative institutions to our different colonies, whereby they might be enabled to deal with their own affairs. But, as they would never allow a town to destroy the foundations of any religious or charitable institutions which existed in that town before municipal rights were conferred upon it, so they ought not to allow any colony of the British Crown, with representative institutions, to destroy the religious endowments which had been made and guaranteed by Parliament as permanent. The minority, whether in towns or in the colonies, ought to expect this protection. If Parliament denied it, then he said the confidence of the Colonies in Parliament would be shaken, if not utterly destroyed. For the sake, therefore, of the Colonies generally, for the promotion and encouragement of colonial enterprise in all parts of the world, for the purpose of maintaining the confidence of the colonists in the British Parliament and the British Crown—for these reasons, if for no others, he begged the House to pause before it passed this Bill. But he begged them to remember there were other reasons as strong as those to which he had alluded; there was the danger of setting race against race, and creed against creed—there was the duty of making religious instruction coextensive and commensurate with all the efforts of human enterprise—there was the further duty of preserving intact the rights of conscience, and maintaining unimpaired the national faith. If Parliament forgot those things, he owned he could not. He could not sacrifice, under the plausible plea of local self-government, all those rights which the House was called upon now to abandon—rights which existed before local self-government was ever conceded—rights which were made a condition of that concession, and therefore, in his judgment, those were rights which ought to be upheld, maintained and secured, upon every reason, with but one exception, of policy and expediency, and on every principle, without one exception, of honesty and justice. He begged to move that the Bill be read the third time that six months.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words, "upon this day six months."


said, he had no doubt the right hon. Gentleman was perfectly sincere in his views and in the alarm he had ex- pressed. He (Mr. Hume) did not entertain the slightest alarm. Every argument he had advanced, if properly understood in the Colonies, was more in favour of the Bill than against it. No one was more anxious than himself to secure the rights of property in the Colonies or elsewhere. He had been always opposed to any interference with the religious opinions of a distant colony; the colonists were averse to being dictated to, and hated to be rode over by any establishment. The report of Lord Sydenham, when Governor of Canada, showed that for fourteen years the popular Assembly of that day, chosen by universal suffrage, passed a resolution, in many cases unanimously, declaring that the endowments of the Churches of England and Scotland ought to be abolished, and that the reserves ought to be secularised and applied to education; and they added that until that were done there could be no peace. Hence the constant irritation on religious subjects which had prevailed since that hour in Canada; and therefore the alarm expressed by the right hon. Gentleman was all moonshine, and he (Mr. Hume) must express his thanks to the noble Lord for having introduced this measure, which he believed would remove a great source of discontent from the colony. It was true the Bill carried by the Lower House was rejected by the Legislative Assembly; the reason was, they were the nominees of the Government. In 1827, 1829, and 1830, Bills having the same object passed the House of Assembly, but were rejected by the Upper House. In 1831, in a new Assembly, resolutions in favour of the same object were passed, the amendment of the Solicitor General being rejected by 29 to 7. In 1832, a resolution was passed to the same effect by 62 to 10. In 1835, the first session of the 12th Parliament, a Bill for the sale of the clergy reserves was passed by 40 to 4, but was rejected by the nominees. Thus the colony had been kept in a continual state of excitement; the people, resolved not to be trampled on by Government nominees, were on the point of resorting to measures of a different kind. The excitement and dissatisfaction would continue until the cause was removed; they were now about to remove it; and he thanked the noble Lord for this Bill. So far from the abolition of the system preventing colonisation, he believed that if the Clergy Reserves Bill had never been passed, the emigration to Canada would have been double what it was. It was already much greater than was supposed; for the population of Canada increased in a greater ratio than that of the United States. The wisest step which could possibly be taken was that now proposed by the Government for removing religious irritation. It was impossible for any one not to see that the clergy reserves would be secularised; the Governor had now come in in favour of the measure; the new Parliament, which met in November, had passed resolutions to that effect; and the Council had concurred. The resolutions concluded as follows:— That it appears from the facts above stated, that during a long period of years, and in nine successive Sessions of the Provincial Parliament, the representatives of the people of Upper Canada, with an unanimity seldom exhibited in a deliberative body, declared their opposition to religious endowments of the character above referred to. That the wishes of the people were thwarted by the Legislative Council, a body containing a majority avowedly favourable to the acendancy of the Church of England. That Her Majesty's Imperial Government, from time to time, invited the Provincial Parliament to legislate on the subject of these reserves, disclaiming on the part of the Crown any desire for the superiority of one or more particular Churches. That Her Majesty's Government in declining to advise the Royal Assent being given to a Bill passed by a majority of one, for investing the reserves in the Imperial Parliament, admitted that from its accurate information as to the wants and general opinions of society, in which the Imperial Parliament was unavoidably deficient, the question could be more satisfactorily settled by the Provincial Legislature. That subsequent to the disallowance of the last mentioned Bill, the Imperial Parliament passed an Act disposing of the proceeds of the Clergy Reserves in a manner entirely contrary to the formerly repeatedly expressed wishes of the Canadian people as declared through their representatives, and acknowledged as such in a message sent to the Provincial Parliament by Her Majesty's command. That it is the opinion of this House, that the legal or constitutional impediments which stood in the way of provincial legislation on this subject, should have been removed by an Act of the Imperial Parliament, but that the appropriation of revenues derived from the investments of the proceeds of the public lands of Canada, by the Imperial Parliament, will never cease to cause discontent to Her Majesty's loyal subjects in this province. That this House is of opinion that when all the circumstances connected with this question are taken into consideration, no religious denomination can be held to have such vested interest in the revenue derived from the proceeds of the said Clergy Reserves, as should prevent further legislation with reference to the disposal of them; but this House is nevertheless of opinion that the claims of existing incumbents, whether of individuals or of religious bodies, should be treated in the most liberal manner. He wished to see the Colonies bound to us, and forming part, as it were, of the mother country; and to this end, the measure now proposed was essential. We had liberty of conscience here; why should not the Canadians enjoy the same? The last resolution of the Colonial Parliament declared that until the restriction imposed by the Imperial Government was removed, it would never cease to cause discontent in the colony. The same opinion had been annually placed on record for fourteen years. He therefore said with the right hon. Gentleman—"Be just, and fear not." The new Parliament was more determined to carry their point than ever; they were more nearly unanimous than before, and were only waiting to see what would be done by the Government at home. He considered this a most wise measure, and hoped that no friend of civil or religious liberty would vote against it. Some said it would go to establish the voluntary system. He hoped it would. At all events the matter would be left in their own hands—precisely where it ought to be. So far from exciting religious differences, he believed it would tend to make them disappear. If anything could put an end to those differences, it was a measure of this kind. So far from shaking the confidence of the colonists in the Home Government, it would demonstrate to them that every reasonable boon which they might ask would be conceded. It was said, the confidence of the Churches in their endowments would be shaken. No doubt such must be the effect; all Churches supported by endowments must be shaken. Why were particular Churches endowed? To support particular religious views. But if the endowments were withdrawn, it did not follow that the Churches would lose their property, unless the public opinion was against them. Seeing what was the prevalence of opinion in Canada against establishments, why should they stand up against it? They should rather do, as Mr. Canning said the House of Commons would always do, march with the times. The time might come when the feeling in this country would be as strong against religious endowments; and he would be one of the first to give expression to that feeling. He regarded this as an Act of peace, and hoped that all who were anxious to maintain the Colonies in connexion with this country would support it. In 1825 Parliament had decreed that one-seventh of the lands in New South Wales should be devoted to the support of the clergy; but in 1832, finding out their mistake, and seeing that the public feeling there was not so strong in favour of the Church of England as they had supposed, the Legislature revoked this settlement; and in doing so they had acted wisely. It was said the rights of property would be interfered with. Why, the second clause of this Bill preserved to every man in the receipt of an income under these reserves his property for life.


said, that although, as the debate had proceeded since its first introduction, the nature of the measure had come to be much simplified and brought more clearly within the range of the hon. Gentleman who had just set down—for the fact was that it was neither more nor less than a measure of Church plunder—yet so many extraordinary things had been enunciated during the time the measure had been before the House, that he was loath to take leave of it without giving it a parting benediction. When his noble Friend at the head of Her Majesty's Government (the Earl of Aberdeen) first announced to the public the principles on which he intended that his Administration should be conducted, he said, that the policy of his Government would be "Conservative progress." Now that the present measure was one of progress no one could doubt; but he much feared that his noble Friend, in uttering his substantive, forgot his adjective; for the "Conservative" quality of the measure he (Mr. Drummond) was totally at a loss to discover, seeing that it conserved nothing, and that its "progress," judging from the intentions expressed by its movers, and the intentions of every one of its supporters, was progress towards the destruction of all religious establishments. But, approving as he did—so far as he understood them—of the principles which his noble Friend enunciated on the occasion referred to, he found that when the Aberdeen phrase came to be translated into the Cornish dialect, it meant not "Conservative progress" but "consistent Radicalism;" and certainly he saw a much greater analogy between this measure and the latter definition, than between it and the former. But there was another extraordinary thing connected with this Bill—that when a certain Bishop thought it but right and fair to stand up for the property of his absent brethren, one of Her Majesty's Ministers forthwith charged him with being the "pest of his diocese." Now, that a Gentleman should begin to abuse an adversary whom he cannot answer was perhaps fair, and secundum artem; but that he should accuse him in a matter which was not before him did seem very like "consistent Radicalism," but not much like "Conservative progress." But there was another extraordinary matter to which he wished to refer. Another Bishop had strongly recommended and justified this proposed plunder of the Church in Canada. He (Mr. Drummond) thought that this was a matter well worthy of consideration, because, no doubt, hon. Members would remember the anecdote of King James and Bishops Andrews and Neale (the Bishops of Winchester and Durham). The King having asked them whether they would not part with some portion of their temporalities to assist him in some pressing emergency, Bishop Neale replied, "Your Majesty is the light of our eyes and the breath of our nostrils; do with us as you please." Bishop Andrews, however, was silent, but on being pressed by the King to answer, he said, "I certainly think your Majesty may take the property of my brother of Durham, for he says you may." Now he (Mr. Drummond) thought that the same view was well worthy the consideration of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who he hoped would be disposed to say that the House had certainly a right to take the temporalities of the see of Oxford. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had said that the object of the present measure was not to secularise the clergy reserves, but merely to allow the Canadians to deal with the matter. The discussion of this question had furnished a curious instance of the way in which Gentlemen would admit a wrong might be done, provided the parties doing it did not make use of harsh language. Among the Gentlemen who sat upon the Ministerial benches were many soi-disant friends of the Church; and such phrases as "sacrilege," and "Church plunder," or any expressions of that kind, sounded, of course, very harsh in their ears; they say that they would not hear of such a thing in Canada, but, if matters were so managed as to avoid these ugly words, and that the object of the Bill was merely to allow the Canadians to deal with Church property, they had no objection to offer to the measure. He believed that the Gentlemen opposite who supported this measure had too much sense to quarrel about words. The argument of the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be just as strong if the word "Ireland" were substituted for "Canada." He doubted whether "the Pope's brass band" would care much about words, provided they had the power of dealing with the Church property of Ireland precisely as Parliament was now going to allow the Canadians to deal with Church lands of America. It was not the honest avowal of an opinion that he was objecting to; it was the humbug that he disliked. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer had told them that he believed and hoped that the Canadians would not secularise the property. Faith and hope were two of the cardinal virtues, and he should be sorry to deprive the right hon. Gentleman of any portion of either the faith or hope that was in him, for he knew of no one who more needed a large share of both than Chancellors of the Exchequer in all times; but faith and hope were good or evil things according to what they rested upon; and, for his part, he had faith—though he had no hope—that the Canadians would secularise those lands, because they had said that they meant to do so; and because every soul who supported the Government in carrying the measure supported them with the intention that the lands should be secularised. He should be glad to hear the Chancellor of the Exchequer state any grounds which might induce him to change his opinion on that head. But he did not much like the idea of the Government doing the thing by halves. Since Her Majesty's Ministers were going to enact the part of Filch in Canada, why should they not encourage the House of Commons to come out in the character of Sixteen-string Jack in Ireland, or Captain Macheath in England—beginning, of course, at Oxford? Whenever he wanted to commit plunder, he should like to plunder the rich man, and not the poor—he should like to have the Church of England to plunder, and not the poor miserable Church of Canada. The morality would be the same, while the profit would be greater. He admitted that there was great difficulty between interfering in the internal government of Canada, and letting them manage for themselves; and it would be a good thing for us, he thought, when the Colonies who had got representative governments were altogether separated from us. Gentlemen knew little of the question of free trade who thought it was confined to cotton and corn. The total separation of every one of our Colonies from us, was the necessary consequence of that measure. He earnestly hoped Her Majesty's Ministers would take this view of the question. The Colonies, he was sure, would be quite ready to make a compromise with them by accepting Presidents for life, which would enable the Government to provide for many troublesome applicants for office, of whom this country would get quit for ever, and it would enable us likewise to get quit of possessions which brought us nothing but shame and disgrace.


assured the hon. Gentleman that he was mistaken in supposing that every soul who supported the Government in the present measure did so with the intention of promoting the secularisation of the clergy reserves. He assured him, also, that he believed he was acting, not as a Radical, but as a consistent Conservative, in supporting a measure which would preserve the union between Canada and the mother country. In his opinion he was the Conservative, and the hon. Member was the Radical; for he had pointed clearly, and at no distant period, to the loss of our colonial empire. He (Mr. Seymer) knew no greater proof of the progress of public opinion than the present state of the clergy reserves question. He recollected hearing the right hon. Baronet the Chief Commissioner of the Board of Works (Sir William Moles-worth) speak with great ability—though he was sorry to say not with much effect—on the question of colonial right and self-government. He recollected also hearing the noble Lord who was now the leader of that House (Lord John Russell), speak rather slightingly of the proceedings of a society of which he (Mr. Seymer) was a member—he meant the Society for the Reform of Colonial Government—a society which had suspended its proceedings because its principles had been fully adopted by the Government. But why did the right hon. Baronet the President of the Board of Works on a recent occasion abandon his impregnable position of the right of the colony to manage its own affairs, and enter upon the debatable ground of what he called religious equality and the voluntary system? If Her Majesty's Government received one vote on that (the Opposition) side of the House, and he believed they would receive a few, it would be on one principle only—namely, the right of the colony to manage its own affairs. For was not that right involved in this question? He thought it was. He thought there was primâ facie evidence that it was; for at the end of last century, when colonial rights were imperfectly understood, and when we had the severe lesson of the American war, which he hoped would not be lost upon us at the present day, we gave the Canadians the right, in the first instance, to deal with the clergy reserves. The lands were to be used for the purposes of the colony, subject to the control of the Imperial Legislature. The clergy to be paid were Canadian clergy, and the lands were Canadian lands, and therefore the case in itself was one purely of local interest. In fact, it was only by accident that the question was not disposed of, at all events in the first instance, by the Colonial Legislature. They sent over to this country a Bill which they had passed for the arrangement of the clergy reserves. It was discovered by a sagacious Prelate that in that Bill the Colonial Legislature had exceeded their powers by attempting to repeal an Act of the Imperial Legislature; the question was laid before the Judges, who decided that the power of the Colonial Legislature had been exceeded; and the noble Lord the Member for the City of London (Lord John Russell) consequently brought forward the measure which afterwards became law—namely, the Clergy Reserves Act. They were told, however, that this matter was taken out of the category of local questions by a bargain which had been made with the Church; but he did not admit that the late Archbishop of Canterbury, or any other man, had any power to make such bargain on the part of the Church. He might value the efforts of the Missionary Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, but he did not admit that it could bind the Church. In point of fact, the Church was not in a position to make any bargain of that sort, because they had not chosen to give to the Church any power of binding all churchmen to any arrangement made on behalf of the Church. He, therefore, could not admit that this was a bargain in that sense; and, therefore, he could not admit that the question had been, by any such bargain, taken out of the hands of the Colonial Legislature. But they were told that the word "final" occurred in the Act relating to the arrangement made as to these reserves. Now, he really thought that they had heard enough about finality. He took it that that settlement was about as final as the treaties of peace which were proposed to last for all eternity. Whatever treaties they might have entered into with the Colonies, they must expect that a time would come when people living in the Colonies would understand their rights as colonists better than their predecessors, and they would not shrink from demanding the free enjoyment of those rights, any treaties to the contrary notwithstanding. As Englishmen, they would claim the right to manage their own affairs. Hon. Members might talk about finality as much as they pleased, but they need not expect that the Colonies would remain quiet under a deprivation of their rights. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Midhurst (Mr. Walpole) had said that this was regarded by many persons as a great Protestant question; and the hon. Member had talked of the great alarm that the passing of this Bill would occasion amongst the Protestant clergy. That part of his speech had certainly surprised him (Mr. K. Seymer). The lands in question were set apart for the maintenance of a Protestant clergy, and in the view of the Judges, not of clergy of the Church of England, or of the Church of Scotland, but of a clergy especially opposed to the Roman Catholics. He confessed he should be rather glad to wash his hands of a fund which had been applied, as part of this had been, to a purpose the very opposite of that for which it was instituted, for part of this fund had been absolutely appropriated to the support of Roman Catholic priests. It was hard to say to what other purpose the fund might be devoted. There was, at present, a very remarkable religious body in the United States of America, who had emigrated some time ago. They might emigrate again; and suppose they emigrated to Canada, a claim might be set up on their part to support from the clergy reserves. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Midhurst had said that the many petitions which had been presented against this measure proved that the minority of the inhabitants of Canada would feel very much aggrieved by the passing of this Bill. In reference to that, he (Mr. K. Seymer) would call the attention of the House to an observation of Lord Elgin. That noble Lord said—I think it would argue a very unfortunate state of society if a great number of excellent clergymen were not able to induce a very considerable portion of the laity to join them in signing petitions against a measure of which they disapproved; but I think it would be rash to assume that those petitions represent public opinion rather than the votes of the Canadian House of Parliament." He (Mr. K. Seymer) thought it would be more than rash—it would be most dangerous—to appeal from a constitutional majority to the people out of doors on such a subject. The right hon. Gentleman had also said that there would be great agitation in the Colony if this measure should pass into a law. But did any hon. Member suppose that the rejection of this measure would put an end to agitation in the Colony? He thought the result would be quite the contrary. He believed that if this Bill were rejected, the agitation would assume a dangerous character. He believed that in all free countries you must expect agitation to arise upon questions which excite great public interest; but he thought that the Anglo-Saxon had sufficient good sense not to put an end to the regular Government during his agitation for reform. He thought that the only way in which a constitutional Government could be carried on was by permitting the people to agitate for reforms without being subject to the control of any stronger power, for he could conceive nothing more disastrous than a system which would allow a minority of the colonists to appeal, in matters relating exclusively to their own internal affairs, to the mother country against a majority of their fellow-colonists. We had great agitation in this country some years ago for the repeal of the corn laws. Now, suppose that the minority who were opposed to their repeal, had, on the passing of the Repeal Bill, been in a position to appeal to some higher authority, 3,000 miles distant, the results would have been of the most fearful description. The men who emigrated to our colonies were amongst the best educated, high-spirited, and energetic of our countrymen, and we need not hope that they would suffer the Imperial Parliament to deprive them of what they knew were their undoubted rights. Such men were not to be trifled with. The Canadians had reason to be especially impatient of Imperial control, because Canada had made the most rapid progress in material prosperity since she obtained her local Legislature. Previously she lagged behind that part of the United States which was nearest to her; but now she outstripped them. For the sake of the Church in Canada, he hoped that this Bill would pass; for it would relieve her from the invidious position which she at present occupied with regard to the other religious bodies in the colony. It must be remembered that the Canadians had met with considerable disappointment from the change of Government which had recently taken place in this country, for they had been given to understand that Her Majesty's late Government were prepared to accede to their views on the subject of the clergy reserves; and he thought it a very inconvenient thing that the determination of colonial questions should depend upon the changing Governments of this country, there having been no change in the opinion of the colonists. Taking it for granted that hon. Members on his side of the House would think it their duty, as part of Her Majesty's Opposition, to oppose the measure, he would give them a word of caution. He said nothing of the Members of the late Government, who, no doubt, felt bound to oppose the wishes of the Canadian Parliament, but addressed his observations to "the straight-running men"—men in whom whippers-in delighted—who habitually thought that in opposition they could not do wrong in opposing a Government measure. Without entering into the question of party allegiance, he would say that this straight-running principle was a dangerous principle to apply to colonial measures. If they opposed any measure on which the people of England had set their hearts, they were sure to meet again at the hustings; but there was no such opportunity of squaring accounts with the colonists, and we might only meet them again on the field of battle. It was no trifling matter to come to collision with a body representing two millions of our fellow-subjects; and he had a right to ask those who opposed this Bill, "What are you prepared to do?" Because this was a question, the >momentum of which came from the other side of the Atlantic, and a majority either in that or the other House of Parliament could not set it at rest—what then would they next do? Perhaps they would wait and see whether the colonists persevered. They had all heard of the inexperienced servant who, when about to leave the servants' hall on hearing a bell ring, was desired by the others to wait and see before she answered it whether those who rang it persevered and rang again. They might wait in this case, but the colonists would ring again, and (they might depend upon it) louder than before, until they were obliged to "answer the bell." Believing, then, that it was better to do at once and with a good grace what eventually was inevitable, he should support the Bill.


said, they had heard a great deal about the majority of public feeling, and he would admit that this was a strong argument in favour of the views of the Canadian Legislature upon the question under discussion; but from the examples he found in history he could not be led to think that the majority of public feeling was alway a just criterion of the duties of a Legislature to a people. He considered that if the majority of public feeling was to be relied upon, there was no reason for saying that the French nation, at the Revolution, were not justified in the enormous acts of confiscation which were then committed. They were told the time had come when, unless they did yield, they would be compelled to yield. He said, then, that the mainspring of this proposed legislation was fear on the part of the mother country. Now what, he would ask, was the advantage of these large civil and military establishments which we maintained in our Colonies, except to support the dignity of the Crown, and the authority of the English laws? He contended that the English Government was pledged to apply a portion at least of the proceeds of the clergy reserves to the maintenance of the Protestant Church and the advantage of their Protestant fellow-subjects in the Colonies, because the English Parliament had guaranteed, in 1791 and in 1840, that those reserves should be so applied. If, then, they were merely to be guided by the idea that the feelings of the colonists were to be consulted, they had better withdraw their armies, and resign the authority which the mother country was supposed to possess over the Colonies. They had been told by the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume) that what Parliament had given, Parliament had a right to take away; but he (Mr. Liddell) thought that was a very dangerous doctrine for a Member of that House to propound, for he considered that the guarantee of the British Parliament ought not to be so trifled with. In contending that this measure was a violation of the national faith, he was supported by the opinion formerly expressed by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer. In the discussion which preceded the settlement of 1840, the right hon. Gentleman expressed an opinion that the Bill involved a breach of faith, and said that he could not be a party to the compulsory abrogation of any claim that had arisen under the Act of 1791. He could understand a change of opinion taking place in the mind of a public man on ordinary political questions; but he could not understand how such a change could take place in a well-regulated mind on any moral question as to a breach of faith. He believed that no doubt existed in the minds of any one except, perhaps, in the mind of the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Colonies, as to the object which the colonists had in view on this subject; but he (Mr. Liddell) conceived that the Colonial Legislature had no right whatever to deal with these reserves as they thought proper, because he considered that the Colonial Legislature was bound by as solemn a guarantee as that by which the British Crown and Parliament were bound to maintain the reserves for the particular purpose to which they were originally applied, namely, for the benefit of the Church institutions of the colony. A great deal had been said about the majority of public feeling; but hon. Gentlemen who used this argument appeared to lose sight altogether of what was due to the minority of the colonists. He would like to know whether there had been anything in the conduct of that minority, small as it might be—though he maintained that it was not very small—by which it had forfeited the esteem of the people of this country? Had the conduct of that minority been marked by any other features than loyalty, fidelity, and affection towards the Imperial Government? He would ask, then, ought their appeals to be neglected, and ought their claims to property which had been unquestionably assigned to them, to be abandoned to the hands of an opposing Legislature? These were not the only grants in Canada that depended upon the same guarantee. Grants of land in Upper Canada, to the extent of 5,000,000 acres, had been made to different persons at various times—refugees from the United States, retired officers, pensioned civilians, and others. Now, there was no attempt on the part of the Colonial Legislature to deal with that property. But suppose a question with respect to the disposal of it should arise, they would be justified in following in the matter the same line of legislation which the Government of this country now proposed to adopt with reference to the clergy reserves. He should like to know if the Imperial Parliament would tamely permit those parties to whom he had alluded to be stripped of their possessions, because a majority of the colonists might be in favour of such a proceeding? The whole principle appeared to him to be opposed to the rights of property in Canada, and in every other country. He hoped the House would allow him to say a few words on behalf of those persons who looked mainly for support to the proceeds of the grants with which the Government were about to deal. He found that the greater portion of the Protestant population of Lower Canada were distributed over poor and distant settlements; that their religious wants were usually supplied by the zealous and meritorious exertions of a small body of Protestant clergymen. Those clergymen had hitherto been supported chiefly by donations from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Those donations, it was stated, were about to be withdrawn, and the poor clergymen of Lower Canada looked naturally and justly for some degree of support from the proceeds of the reserves. The good works of these missionaries afforded the noblest theme for eloquence. The privations which they endured in the discharge of their lofty duties, the miseries which they were necessarily obliged to undergo, in order to give comfort and assistance to their fellow-creatures, were strong arguments in favour of their receiving that support to which their exertions were so greatly entitled. The Church in Canada had been deprived by Act of Parliament of the power to levy any tithe whatsoever, so that no fund for the maintenance of the clergy could be raised from that source. It might be said that the Roman Catholic body in Canada was so powerful, and the Dissenters so numerous, that the members of the Church of England were no longer entitled to any share of the public lands in that country. But he maintained that the lands with which the measure of the Government proposed to deal, were not public lands, and that they never, strictly speaking, belonged to the inhabitants of Canada. On the contrary, they were lands which had been won by the British sword, and paid for in money by the people of this country, and consequently it could not be argued with any degree of justice that the Canadian Legislature had a right to dispose of those lands according to its pleasure; yet we proposed to let them deal with them as they thought fit, and without remonstrance. He had heard with considerable satisfaction an observation which had fallen from the Chancellor of the Exchequer a few nights before. That right hon. Gentleman had stated that the greatest pride of an Englishman was the exactitude with which he met his engagements; but he (Mr. Liddell) would wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether an Englishman's word was not as sacred when dealing with the poor inhabitants of the back settlements of Canada as when pledged to the merchant upon the Stock Exchange of this city? He thought the proposed measure was one which would afford a precedent, which would act upon and disturb every species of religious endowment in Canada. They were very well aware that the Roman Catholic Church in that colony was richly—he might almost say superabundantly endowed—and they might be assured that there were men who sought eagerly for causes of popular excitement, and who would not allow so fertile a source of agitation to pass unheeded. Whatever hon. Gentlemen might say, the Bill before them was not likely to put an end to excitement in the Colonies. The subject of those reserves had been dealt with in the year 1840. From that period, until the year 1846, no further question had been raised with respect to them; and it was not until the commencement of an agitation by Mr. Price, in 1849, that the public mind became again excited upon that point. But were they to expect that, by reopening the question, the public excitement was to be appeased, or tranquillity restored to our colonies? He felt so strongly on the subject, that he should certainly record his vote with the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Walpole), who had commenced the debate that evening. He (Mr. Liddell) held, that, whatever might be said, the argument remained unanswered, which urged that the Sovereign of this country had given a guarantee, sanctioned by Parliament, for the maintenance of the Canadian reserves, and he felt no hesitation in saying that the compact which had been entered into upon the subject was as sacred at the present moment as it could have been in the year 1791.


said, there were two points connected with the question before the House which it was highly important to consider. The first was, whether they were to regard the enactments of 1791 and 1840 as permanent and irrevocable. If they were of opinion that no alteration could be made without entailing the committal of a breach of national faith, then it would be the bounden duty of every Member of that House, totally irrespective of the feelings of the people of Canada, to apply the proceeds of the clergy reserves to those purposes only for which they had originally been designed. But, upon the other hand, if it appeared that those reserves were susceptible of revision, the subject narrowed itself into the simple question whether legislation with respect to them was to be undertaken by the Imperial or by the Colonial Legislature. He had listened with great attention to the arguments which had been advanced by hon. Members upon both sides of the House with reference to those reserves, and he had come to the conclusion that they ought not to be considered as having been permanently and irrevocably dealt with by the proceedings of former years. He Would first refer to the measure of 1791, and more especially to that portion of it which empowered the Legislature "to vary or repeal" some of its provisions. He thought that a great many of the difficulties which beset the question might be removed if they referred to the explanation of Mr. Pitt, with reference to the Bill, upon its introduction in the year 1791. At that period Mr. Fox had strongly objected to portions of the Bill, and it was in reply to the objections of Mr. Fox that Mr. Pitt observed that, "as to the proportion of one-seventh of the lands, if it turned out to be too much for the future, the sale of property appropriated to the clergy, as well as everything else provided by the Bill, was subject to revision." Now it had been stated that the Judges had given it as their opinion that the Canadian Legislature had the power to deal only with lands as yet unappropriated. But in giving that opinion, the Judges had not maintained that the Act of 1791 was either permanent or irrevocable. On the contrary, they evidently considered that the Imperial Parliament was competent to deal with the subject; they saw that the Canadian Legislature could not vary the appropriations already made under the provisions of the Act of 1791 "while such provisions remained unrepealed and in full force." But if it was in the power of Parliament to revise the provisions, it was in their competency to delegate the power to the Canadian Legislature. The strongest proof that that measure was not of a final character was to be found in the circumstance that the Act of 1840 was so totally at va- riance with the provisions of that of 1791, as to render it manifest that the framers of the former Bill did not think themselves at all bound to take the provisions of the enactment of the year 1791 as a precedent for their legislation. Indeed from 1840 up to the present time, no less a sum than 1,300l. or 1,400l. a year had been paid to the Roman Catholic clergy out of those funds, which in the year 1791 had been exclusively dedicated to the maintenance of ministers of the Protestant Church. But they had been told that the measure of the year 1840 must at all events be regarded as a final settlement. Now, he confessed that he had heard with no inconsiderable degree of surprise, that argument used by the right hon. Baronet the late Secretary for the Colonies (Sir John Pakington) who had so emphatically declared that the doctrine of finality in legislation was one unworthy of England." No doubt there were many who in 1840 believed that a final settlement was effected, exactly as in 1832 they believed that the Reform Act was a settlement at least for this generation. Considering the rapidity with which events progressed—considering that the population of Upper Canada had doubled since the year 1840, and that the members of the Church of England, who amounted to only one quarter of that population, possessed more than half the revenue arising from the clergy reserves; that the Roman Catholics enjoyed a larger share of those funds than the Presbyterians, the Wesleyans, and the other sects put together; taking into account also the opinions of the Judges that the object of the original statute of 1791 was principally the encouragement of the Protestant religion as opposed to the Roman Catholic, rather than the encouragement of the clergy of the Church of England, he (Sir E. Dering) thought it was not a matter which afforded much room for surprise that a large portion of the people of Canada should be in favour of a reconsideration and a redistribution of the property in question. He found that the desire for a periodical revision of that property had been recognised by the most eminent Protestant authorities. In the year 1846 the Bishop of Quebec and his clergy had petitioned Parliament to make an alteration in that portion of the Bill which affected the rectories and incumbencies in Upper Canada—an alteration in his (Sir E. Dering's) opinion most desirable, but still one totally at variance with the measure of 1791. Lord Elgin, also, in a despatch which had been laid upon the table of that House, had dwelt with great force upon the difficulty of maintaining the clergy reserves in their present position; and, lastly, the late Secretary for the Colonies (Sir John Pakington) had admitted that it might from time to time be desirable to reconsider the redistribution of those funds—thus cutting from beneath his feet the only ground upon which he might have made a stand—namely, the finality of the Act of 1840. In his opinion, the great question which remained for them to consider was, whether legislation upon the subject under their notice should be undertaken by the Imperial or by the Colonial Legislature? He was of opinion that the motive that actuated Parliament in conferring upon Canada self-government was the belief that a Canadian Legislature would bring to such a question as that of the clergy reserves an amount of accurate local information which it would be in vain to look for among the Members of the English Parliament. He thought that popular opinion was so much in favour of self-government, that it was a principle which would have met with little opposition in that House. He would turn to the right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir J. Pakington), and ask why he sought to withhold from Canada the boon of self-government? He wished to call the attention of the House to a despatch which had been written by the right hon. Gentleman, and to which allusion had so frequently been made in the course of that debate. The first objection which the right hon. Baronet had urged was the uncertainty which prevailed as to the opinions of the new House of Assembly on the question of the reserves. Now, whatever amount of uncertainty might have prevailed at the time that despatch was written, had been since completely removed. Upon the receipt of the right hon. Baronet's despatch, the House of Assembly had met, and had expressed their regret at the statement which it contained. They had also affirmed by a large majority their determination to adhere to the principle which had been already recognised by Lord Grey—namely, that the question whether existing arrangements were to be maintained or altered was one so exclusively affecting the people of Canada, as not to be withdrawn from the consideration of a domestic Parliament. He Would only quote one other Resolution which had been passed at that period by the House of Assembly. A Motion had been introduced to allow the Act of 1840 to remain untouched, and that Motion, in a House consisting of 56 Members, had been negatived by a majority of 46 to 10. The next objection which had been urged by the right hon. Baronet was, that the too probable result of leaving the clergy reserves to be dealt with by the Canadian Legislature would be the application of those funds to other uses than those of divine worship and religious instruction. Now he (Sir E. Dering) had sought in vain among the records of the House of Assembly, since 1840, for the evidence of a disposition upon the part of its Members to secularise those reserves. They had been told, he knew, that the numbers of the members of the Church of England and Scotland were inferior to those of the other Protestant communions, and he frankly admitted that if the Canadians were permitted to legislate upon the subject, other religious sects besides the Protestants might be allowed to participate in the advantages which those grants afforded; but he totally denied that there existed any proof whatever to show that the people of Canada intended to devote those funds to secular purposes. Archdeacon Bethune, of Toronto, had stated in his pamphlet that the influence of the leading agitators at the last election was directed to the subject of the question of the clergy reserves, and that the most unscrupulous efforts had been resorted to, to induce the electors to vote for those candidates who were supposed to be in favour of the secularisation of those reserves. Now, what had been the result? Archdeacon Bethune stated that the religious party had gained a majority of votes, and that four gentlemen of property in the most popular constituencies in the province, who had taken a most prominent part in favour of secularisation, had been beaten by their opponents; and that Mr. Price, the leading agitator upon that question, had been rejected by a majority of the voters, who had thus declared their opinions to be against the secularisation of the clergy reserves. It had been insinuated that the Roman Catholics of Lower Canada would unite to secularise those funds. He would only say, in reply to that statement, that if the Roman Catholic body adopted that course, they would evince a greater lack of wisdom than was generally ascribed to them; because, if they sought to divert that property to secu- ar purposes, the Protestants would rise to a man to deprive them of those possessions which they so long enjoyed. The opinion of the Canadian House of Assembly was not left to conjecture, because the question of the secularisation of those reserves had been mooted in the Canadian Legislature no less than three times since the year 1850. In that year the Motion for secularisation had been negatived by a majority of 16 votes, in a House consisting of 96 Members. Subsequently another Motion to the same effect had shared the same fate; and in September last, when a Motion had been made to divert those funds to the maintenance of certain schools, that proposal had met with only two supporters. He thought that after so strong and decided an expression of the opinion of the people of Canada, it would be idle to urge anything further upon that head. He would advise those hon. Gentlemen who laid so much stress upon the circumstance of petitions having been presented adverse to the measure of the Government, to peruse the despatch of Lord Elgin to Earl Grey, which conveys a special warning to the noble Earl against the rashness of assuming that petitions of the nature of those to which he (Sir E. Dering) had alluded, were to be considered as a surer index of public opinion than the voice of the popular branch of the Canadian Legislature. Having given the reasons which should guide him in the vote which he was about to give, he wished most distinctly to state that it was not his wish to deprive the Protestant clergy of one tittle of that property to which, in his opinion, they were so justly entitled. His vote upon the question before them should be given as a testimony in favour of that great principle of self-government which was in accordance with the enlightened views entertained in this country, by acting upon which we could alone secure the affections and maintain the allegiance of our distant possessions. Placing, as he did, full reliance upon the religious feelings of the people of Canada, he confided to them the solution of the important question which the measure of the Government proposed to entrust to their consideration, and in doing so he felt satisfied that they would fully justify the trust which he hoped to see committed to their hands, and that they would, by following such a judicious course as would, by healing those divisions which had so long and unfortunately rent the colony, secure to their country the blessings of internal peace and tranquillity, and thus contribute most effectually to their future prosperity and welfare.


said, that he had the misfortune to differ upon the question under their notice from many hon. Gentlemen with whom, upon subjects of colonial policy, he usually concurred. Much had been said in the course of that debate upon the right of our colonies to the exercise of the principle of self-government, and those who took different views from the advocates of that principle had been taunted with a desire to exert a tyrannical control over those distant possessions. Now, he desired as sincerely as any man could to promote the independence of our Colonies. He wished to see them entrusted with the management of their own affairs; and if the question under their consideration were merely a local question, he should probably give a different vote from that which he was about to give that evening. But the question was not one of merely a local nature, and with all due deference to the opinions of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he (Mr. Child) maintained it would be found to be an Imperial question. The subject might, indeed, be a local one, if the clergy reserves had been purchased by the Colonial Legislature, or were maintained by imposts upon the people of Canada; or if they had been created by the piety of the Colonial Legislature. But such was not the case: the question was local merely in as far as the property to which it related was situated in Canada. In 1763 Canada had been absolutely ceded to this country; in 1775 the Crown granted those reserves to promote the spiritual and moral welfare of the country; in 1791 that grant was confirmed by Act of Parliament, and, though the local Legislature was empowered to modify the disposition thus made, yet it must be borne in mind that the concurrence of Parliament and the sanction of the Crown were necessary. This country had purchased those lands with her treasure and the blood of her sons, and so far as solemn treaty could confer a right, the clergy reserves must be looked upon as the property of England. Soon after the decision of the Judges on the question in 1840, an Act of Parliament was passed, providing for a final settlement. The term might be sneered at, but this fact afforded further evidence that the question was an imperial question. That Act was accompanied by a guarantee, of which the noble Lord the Member for the City of London said at the time, "It was now proposed to guarantee the payment permanently. It seemed to him, if that payment were to be guaranteed at all, it ought to be out of the funds of this country." Sir Robert Peel also spoke of the guarantee as being in perpetuity. The Imperial Parliament was responsible for the maintenance of the settlement, not only to the existing incumbents, but to the Protestant people of Canada—they were responsible to the flock rather than to the shepherd. They might sanction the spoliation of that which had been set apart for sacred purposes, but they could not relieve themselves from the moral obligations they had incurred in the matter so long as Canada continued to recognise our sovereignty. It had been urged that they ought to assent to the Bill because it would be impossible to retain those reserves. But he denied that the difficulty of maintaining a thing was a conclusive test of its error, and he also denied that the facility of maintaining a thing was a sufficient proof of its truth and wisdom. For his part, he could not believe that religion would be endangered by upholding justice, or that they could expect that its interests would be promoted by the perpetration of wrong. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had contended that as it was the industry of the people of Canada which had given its value to the property from which those reserves were derived, the control of the reserves ought to be left to the chosen representatives of that people. But would the right hon. Gentleman be prepared to carry out that theory? Supposing he himself possessed an estate in the midst of a great manufacturing district, in which the land derived its value mainly from the industry of the people—would he be prepared to deliver up to them that estate? If his argument were right with regard to Canada, it might with equal force be applied to Ireland; and then the advocates of tenant-right in that country might well rejoice at having obtained so important a convert to their doctrines as the right hon. Gentleman. It would even appear as if the right hon. Gentleman would be prepared to go further than the advocates of tenant-right, because they claimed for the tenants the value of their improvements only, while he would give up the freehold itself. Again, it was manifest that the land of this country derived its value from the industry, skill, and capital of the husbandman; and would the right hon. Gentleman the representative of the University of Oxford be prepared to tell the Church of England that she had no right to her revenues, but that she ought at once to give them up to those who sowed and reaped the corn out of which the tithes were paid? They had been told that by refusing to accede to the wishes of the people of Canada in that instance, they would be creating in that country a feeling similar to that which had led to our loss of the United States. But the two cases were, in his opinion, in no way analogous. The United States had revolted, because we had attempted to apply to them principles of government which we never attempted to enforce in our own country; while all that the opponents of that Bill asked was, that the House should deal with the Church in Canada precisely as they dealt with the Church at home. The United States had revolted because we had endeavoured in the most unconstitutional manner to put our hands in their pockets; while the only reason why the Canadians should revolt was that Parliament would be unwilling that they should be allowed to put their hands in our pockets. Those funds had been originally granted for the purpose of providing a maintenance for the ministers of religion, who had ever proved themselves to be in the midst of the wilderness the most successful teachers of those duties which bound man to his fellow-man, and constituted the safety of society. The course of our education taught us, and not unwisely, to refer to the ancients for examples. What was their practice? The republics of ancient times had been, like ourselves, great colonists; but they had never left behind them their household gods; and wherever they had built their hearths, there they had also set up their altars. Should we show less zeal in the propagation of our pure faith than the Pagans did for their corrupt worship? Our forefathers had raised altars which we were at present asked to throw down; they had granted endowments for the support of the Protestant faith, which we were at present asked to confiscate. Much as he desired to promote self-government, he could not give his assent to a measure which would divert to new purposes property which had been set apart for the most sacred duties, and which—he hoped he might say it without irreverence—would sanction that which had been denounced by the prophet Malachi, "Will a man rob God? yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation." He could not, he should further say, give his vote in favour of a measure which would, as he believed, violate the plighted faith both of the Crown and of Parliament.


said, that before he proceeded to urge the grounds on which he rested his vindication of this measure, and to which he looked as conclusively establishing its wisdom and justice, he should endeavour to make clear its scope and principle, because some of the observations which had fallen from the right hon. Member for Midhurst (Mr. Walpole), had made him at times almost doubt the identity of the measure to which the right hon. Gentleman was addressing himself, with that which was actually before the House. He entertained, in common with every other Member of the House, the greatest respect for that right hon. Gentleman; but he must say it appeared to him on this occasion that he had permitted his zeal and earnestness to get the upper hand of his habitual regard for candour and moderation. Unintentionally, no doubt, but at the same time most unaccountably, the right hon. Gentleman had entirely misrepresented what fell from him (Mr. F. Peel) when he proposed this Bill. He (Mr. F. Peel) had already explained that he was not then referring to religious endowments in general or at large, but that he was referring to one particular country and to one particular description of endowments, namely, the Clergy Reserves of Canada. Did the right hon. Gentleman suppose that because he (Mr. Peel) pressed upon the House the adoption of this Bill, he had in any degree wavered in his attachment to the principle of an Established Church in England? He supported the Church of England in this country because he belonged to it, and because he knew that the great bulk of the people held sentiments in unison with his own; but he thought it one thing for Parliament to maintain the Church Establishment at home, and another for it to support by its authority in Canada, a Church to which the people there, and their representatives in the local Parliament, might be opposed. The right hon. Gentleman had described this Bill as in- volving a breach of trust, a violation of solemn contracts to which the honour and good faith of the British Crown and of the Imperial Parliament were committed. Now, it appeared to him (Mr. Peel) that any person who examined the provisions of the measure, must perceive that this position was quite untenable. If there was one imputation from which this measure was more free than another it was this; because Government had with scrupulous care endeavoured to frame the Bill with the utmost regard to every obligation of public faith. They had, for instance, protected the rights of all existing incumbents; every minister, whatever his religious denomination, who was now in the spiritual charge of any particular district in Canada, and who was deriving a stipend from this fund, was guaranteed—during the whole course of his life—during the whole tenure of his incumbency—the undiminished and unmolested enjoyment of the stipend of which he was now in possession. The right hon. Gentleman possibly looked beyond that, to the period when the Canadian Parliament might, if it thought fit, exercise the power to be conferred on it by this Bill, and, anticipating that it would exercise that power in the manner in which his apprehensions led him to believe it would, came to the conclusion that there are now in Canada ministers who will not have similarly salaried successors in their incumbencies. That might be; but he (Mr. Peel) contended that this would involve no such breach of trust as was spoken of; that, on the contrary, all that was required of Parliament was to protect existing interests; and that the moment they got beyond these they were disembarrassed of considerations arising out of the binding force of engagements, and were travelling in the free and open country of public policy, and of public policy alone. The concession they were new making was made to Canada in the very infancy of her being; in granting it they were only acting in the spirit of her first fundamental constitutional Act. Nor was it immaterial to observe of this Bill that it placed the Church of England on the same footing on which the Roman Catholic endowment was placed. There were in Lower Canada no less than 500 parochial Roman Catholic clergymen, whose incomes averaged 250l. each, or 125,000l. a year. The whole of this appropriation rested on the good pleasure of the Canadian Parliament alone; and it appeared to him just and equitable that the provision that had been made for the Church of England should depend on the same security. The Bill, indeed, fulfilled all engagements of public faith; it maintained a strict impartiality and equality of dealing towards all religious denominations, and it advanced a step further that policy which had been so extensively and so successfully carried out in Canada—that of leaving to that country, as far as consistent with the conservation of its dependent relation towards ourselves, the power of managing its own affairs, of regulating its own concerns, and of superintending and guiding the fortunes of its own community. No argument had been more frequently urged in the course of this discussion than that the Act of 1840 was intended and accepted as a final settlement; and yet, singularly enough, every party interested in maintaining the Act had taken the course best calculated to sap its foundations and render its stability precarious and uncertain. Take, first, the conduct of the people of Canada themselves. Certainly the Imperial Government would never have moved in the matter had it not been for the representations of a change of opinion on the part of the people of Canada. Three times—with a general election intervening—had the Canadian Parliament passed resolutions condemnatory of the Act of 1840. The intervention of a general election was a good ground for assuming that the opinion of the people of Canada was in unison with their Parliament; and that being the case, he asked those who proposed to reject the Bill whether they were prepared to do more than temporise, whether they thought it would satisfy the people of Canada to offer them in return for the solid and substantial arguments they had urged, only the language of peace and conciliation which the late Secretary for the Colonies took credit for when he opposed the second reading of the Bill? They would be called upon year after year, and Session after Session, to repeat the vote they were about to give that night. Turning from the people of Canada to the Imperial Government, let the House consider its position in regard to the question. In 1850 Earl Grey undertook, on the part of the Government, to bring forward a measure similar to that now before the House; but before he could execute his intention he was succeeded in office by the right hon. Baronet opposite. Now, in his opinion, there was no man who had done more to render impracticable the maintenance of the Act of 1840 than the right hon. Baronet. The right hon. Baronet took this course: he said he would not fulfil the pledge given by Earl Grey, but that he was prepared from time to time to reconsider the question, and make arrangements for the redistribution of the funds. But the right hon. Baronet's proposition did not meet the requirements of the case; for the question now with the Canadians was, in whose hands ought this power of rearrangement to be lodged? They were of opinion it should be left to the local Legislature—they complained not so much of the arrangement effected by the Act of 1840 as of the power assumed by the Imperial Legislature to take the matter under its own control. He had heard an argument frequently used, that the Canadian people had no right to lay claim to these lands, because long before they emigrated to Canada, the lands were the property of the British Crown, and were granted by it for the support of religion. If that argument were sound, it ought to be universal in its application. Why, then, did we, ten or twelve years ago, surrender to the Canadian Parliament all the waste lands of the Crown? That proceeding was a precedent which Government now called upon the House to adopt. It was also deserving of notice that for a length of time the clergy reserves were absolutely valueless; far less prolific, as had been said, of wheat and barley, than of religious strife and dissension. He had seen those who remembered the time when these reserves, scattered over the whole surface of the country, impeded cultivation, intercepted the lines of communication, and disconnected and disjoined contiguous properties. And if now they had a value, to what was that value owing? To the depositing of capital and labour on the part of the Canadian people on those lands; and he certainly thought they were entitled to the produce of their own capital and industry. The Legislature of Canada represented a population of 2,000,000 of people. It had been set up by ourselves for the moral and material improvement of that people, and it was but reasonable that it should have a control over every agency that could assist it in the cause of good government; and if he found there a provision for public worship, it did strike him as an anomaly that the Parliament of Canada should not have the power of regulating that provision, and determining what should be the measure of public instruction to be supported out of that provision. We were content to let every other institution rest on the basis of the good pleasure of the people of Canada; why, then, were we called upon to act as a buttress from without to a Church establishment in that country? and might we not be called upon, on the same principle, to give extraneous aid to every institution in Canada? He saw no distinction between an institution in Canada for the administration of justice, for example, and for the inculcation of divine truth. It was said that Canada may have a good claim on the Crown for self-government in respect of these reserves, but that, unluckily, the Imperial Parliament had put it out of its power to concede that claim; it was said that Parliament had twice passed Acts which definitively disposed of the subject, and took from it the power of further interference. He would ask hon. Gentlemen opposite on which of the two Acts, that of 1791 or that of 1840, did they wish to fall back in reference to this question? If they relied on the Act of 1791, did they not, by so doing, impugn the Act of 1840? By the Act of 1791, according to the statement of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, the clergy reserves were applicable to the maintenance of the Protestant clergy, and to that purpose only. But had the right hon. Gentleman forgotten that by the Act of 1840 Roman Catholics had been admitted to a share in the produce of those funds? He must also remind the right hon. Gentleman, that from the year 1819 down to the year 1840 attempts were made to reverse the arrangements of that Act. Successive Legislative Assemblies year after year attempted to alter that Act, and to appropriate the reserves to some other public purposes. The Secretaries of State for the Colonies declined to take the responsibility of altering it, and prompted the Canadian Parliament to deal with the question. Could that grow up as a right which was daily denounced as a wrong? Could a prescriptive title arise to the Church of England when it was yearly protested against by the Canadian Parliament? He thought not, and that Parliament was fully justified in passing the Act of 1840. The right hon. Gentleman said that was a final Act. But it was only final in the hope entertained that the Canadian people would willingly ac- quiesce in an arrangement which removed from that country an element of dissension and of strife. The hope of its finality depended entirely on the acquiescence of the people of Canada. The arguments urged in support of this being a final settlement of the question, appeared to him (Mr. Peel) to be most unsubstantial and inconclusive. The right hon. Gentleman referred to the preamble of the Act; but that preamble had reference, not to a final settlement of the question, but simply to a final disposition of the land by sales. The Act of 1827 had authorised one-fourth of the reserves to be sold, and the Act of 1840 authorised them to be entirely disposed of. It had been said that the Act of 1840 followed the Act of the Upper Canadian Legislature prior to the Union. On the contrary, there was a material difference, and it was impossible to say that the Act of 1840 expressed the views of the provincial Parliament of Upper Canada. He doubted, also, whether the right hon. Gentleman was correct in asserting that that Act was accepted as a final measure by the Canadian Parliament. It was true that the right hon. Baronet had read speeches of different Members of the Canadian Parliament, in 1846, and also the Report of a Committee; but he had failed to show that that Report had been followed up by any Resolution of the House itself, and he believed that the Canadian Parliament had never expressed its opinion that that Act was a final one, or accepted it as such. Taking into consideration all the circumstances, he had come to the conclusion that the demand of the local Parliament was one which ought to be conceded. How they would exercise their power was a question which he did not care to consider; but this he would say, that in their strict observance of constitutional decorum during the three years they had been endeavouring to obtain this power—in their not having attempted to override the British Parliament—in their willingness to wait the signification of its pleasure—he thought they had given a good earnest of the spirit of sobriety and moderation in which they were willing to approach the question. The other party interested in the question—the Church of England—would at least derive one great advantage from the passing of this Bill. Henceforward she would not be indebted for endowment to the harsh and questionable interference of the Imperial Parliament with property really belonging to the Canadian people. She would henceforward owe it to their spontaneous liberality or forbearance, and a recognition of the great assistance rendered by her in the cause of the government of the country. He would only add that the course now proposed was not without a precedent. There was a portion of the history of the Colonial Church in Australia which might not be inaptly cited on this occasion. There, as in Canada, it was determined to establish the Church of England; there, as in Canada, they had given to the Church of England a right to one-seventh of all the waste lands of the Crown. A charter was granted, and a company was established to manage those Church lands. Many years did not elapse before wiser counsels prevailed, and the steps which had been taken were retraced. And what had been done with those Church lands, which now yielded 4,000l. a year? They had been reserved, not for the advantage of the Church of England only, but had been distributed among the four different religious denominations of Australia, namely, the Wesleyan Methodists, the Presbyterians, the Roman Catholics, and the members of the Church of England. And on what did public worship in Australia now rest? On the spontaneous liberality of the Legislature, and the distribution among the different Churches was in proportion to their numerical strength. On that basis they acted harmoniously together. The Church of England was increasing, her congregations were multiplying, and she was now diffusing herself throughout the whole country. He hoped that Canada also would continue to be a home for the Church of England. He acknowledged that, whatever might be the power which the Church derived from the consciousness of the divine mission intrusted to her, she could not, in a new country, carry home her lessons to a scattered population without a liberal endowment. But at the same time the claim of the Canadian people to dispose of these reserves was so strongly fixed in justice and in reason that he could not prevail on himself to frustrate their reasonable demands; and therefore, not at all believing that the passing of this Bill would cloud the future or darken the prospect of the Church, and knowing for certain that it would tend to cement and draw together the ties which connect that country with this, he pressed upon the House the adoption of this Bill; and he hoped they would pass it through its final stage with a majority as clear, and as conclusive, as that which it received upon the last occasion.


said, he must maintain that the single view taken by the hon. Member for Dorsetshire (Mr. K. Seymour) was not the only one on which it was sought to base this question from time to time by Her Majesty's Government. On the contrary, there had been much shifting and shuffling. He (Mr. Napier) had gone over the debates very carefully with a desire to grapple with this question. But he found at one time that religion was put forward as a motive; next, that they were anxious to go back to the Act of 1791; and again, that it was desirable to place the Churches of Rome and England in Canada on a perfect equality. But after all the discussion that had taken place on these points, and after the matter had been apparently cleared up, he was surprised to hear the very same arguments repeated again and again. But were their endeavours at present directed to the object of establishing both Churches on a footing of equality? Let them examine. He found the Duke of Newcastle stating in February last as follows: "The Church of Rome will stand precisely on the same footing with regard to liability to be dealt with by the Canadian Legislature as will the clergy reserves, if this measure should pass as it now stands;" and the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. F. Peel), on bringing in the Bill, stated that "the properties of both Churches would be put on a footing of equality as under the Act of 1791." The hon. Gentleman (Mr. F. Peel) repeated the statement that night. He (Mr. Napier) maintained that that was not the question. It was clear that the 42nd section of the Act of 1791, and the 42nd section of the Act of 1840, both covered and protected all the endowments belonging to the Church of Rome, and it was clear that the present Bill was not intended to afford the protection of the 42nd section to the Protestant clergy reserves. Therefore, let there be no more said on that point. He maintained that if this Bill passed, the effect would be to withdraw protection from the Protestant Church, and to preserve it to the Roman Catholic—thus producing inequality as regarded the former, and superiority in the case of the latter Church. The noble Duke the Secretary for the Co- lonies (the Duke of Newcastle) had stated in the House of Lords, that "the object of the Government was to restore to the colony the original rights it had in 1791, and which had been withdrawn from it by the Act of 1840." Upon the face of this Bill it was not a complete transfer of all power to deal with these reserves. On the contrary, the 2nd section did not allow the Canadian Legislature to interfere with any matter in which the faith of the Crown was pledged. It appeared to him that where Parliamentary contracts had been made, and the honour of the nation pledged, these were matters which they could not transfer to the Canadian Legislature. The Duke of Newcastle stated that he had introduced that third clause into the Bill in ignorance of the nature of the transaction that had taken place in 1840. It was surprising to him to find that a Bill of such great importance as the present should have been framed in so hasty a manner; that it should have been bandied about, and that with regard to one of the clauses, it was not very clear at the time whether it should have been introduced. Now the noble Lord the Member for the City of London was a contracting party to the arrangement of 1840, and yet this Bill was passed with a clause repealing the Act of 1840; but when his knowledge is brought to bear upon the subject, he is obliged to withdraw the clause. He wished to know where was that knowledge, and why was it not brought to bear when the Bill was being prepared? The noble Lord had himself admitted that considerations of good faith were involved in the maintenance of the provisions of the Act of 1840, and had observed, that if they gave a security, they could not by their own Act take away that security. The right hon. Gentlemen the Chancellor of the Exchequer, before the Union Act had passed, on the 6th July, 1840, stated that "he would not be a party to a violent and compulsory abrogation of any claims which had arisen under the Act of 1791. Such a compulsory abrogation would be neither more nor less than a breach of faith." Now here was a Parliament representing the British nation, and that noble nation, he was satisfied, did not want to have their opinions influenced by a pettifogging quibble. He thought that the noble Lord, Sir Robert Peel, and the right hon. Gentleman opposite, knew very well what the terms of that compact were. Sir Robert Peel was in communication with his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury with regard to this very measure. Was it or was it not intended that this should be a permanent security to the Church that the sum in question would be paid out of the Consolidated Fund for all time? He put it to hon. Gentlemen, whatever their party or private feelings might be, to answer this question: did he believe that the guarantee was to be confined to the existing race of incumbents? The Archbishop of Canterbury was there, representing the English Church in Canada; but it might be said, what right had he to the property? It was given to the Church, and that Canadian Church was in connexion with the see of Canterbury. The Archbishop, then, representing the Church, entered into the arrangement, and received a binding guarantee upon the Consolidated Fund. After the introduction of the Bill the Government acknowledged the justice of that guarantee; and having done that, they came to the House now and said that they had got the opinion of the Crown lawyers that if the primary fund was done away, then the guarantee was no longer binding. What better argument could they have against the Bill? The Church had abandoned its strict rights for peace sake and compromise, and the sum given to the Roman Catholics was a part of that compromise. It was not given exactly to the Roman Catholics, but it was given to the Governor generally for the purpose of diffusing religion in the province. By giving up a portion of its strict rights, the Church believed that they had the remainder secured by a guarantee in perpetuity; having the honour and the faith of Parliament pledged to that, they considered it sufficient. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer took a distinction between the claims founded upon compensation and those founded upon strict rights; but he was now completely abrogating his own Act of 1791. That was the way in which the question at present stood. The point had been well put by the hon. Baronet the Member for East Kent (Sir E. Dering). Was that arrangement of 1791 a final arrangement? Perhaps he ought not to apply the word "finality" to any human arrangementt but still there were Acts of Parliament involving rights in perpetuity, in a certain sense. For instance, grants by the Crown and Parliamentary titles—and they all knew what a work was making in these latter days of Parliamentary titles. But let them take the question upon the coldest ground—the mere question of property. They had the Crown, in 1791, conveying, and Parliament confirming, that property to the Church in Canada. There was, first, the irrevocable constitutional grant of the Crown; secondly, the Parliamentary confirmation; thirdly, the possession and enjoyment for sixty years; and, fourthly, its dedication to particular purposes. All these conditions combined, and all the ecclesiastical property being placed upon a footing of security, he wanted to know what right had they now to abrogate those Crown and ecclesiastical rights? Had not the Crown the right to appropriate a portion of the lands which it had acquired by conquest for the purpose of diffusing religion and Christianity? If he understood the argument of Her Majesty's Government, it was this—that the moment you set up a representative government or body in the colony, that moment you hand over the property set apart by the Crown for these purposes to its management. A question of a somewhat similar nature occurred in the island of Grenada in the time of Lord Mansfield. It was the case of "Campbell v. Hall," involving the legality of a proclamation by the Crown, issued in 1763, to induce settlers to come there. In the following year an attempt was made to vary the arrangements and conditions by letters patent; but one of the settlers who had arrived in the island after the proclamation of the Crown, and before the attempt to issue the letters patent, resisted this on the ground that the Crown had no right to vary the arrangements made after the issuing of the proclamation. In the Court of Queen's Bench, where the case was argued, Lord Mansfield said the proclamation had been made to invite settlers, and purchasers were also invited, subject to the privileges pledged to be secured. "We think," he says, "that the King had immediately and irrevocably granted to all who were, or should become, inhabitants, or who had, or should acquire, property in the island of Grenada, or, more generally, to all whom it might concern, that the subordinate legislation should be exercised as specified in the proclamation." Apply that to the Constitutional Act of 1791 and the Royal Message. One-seventh of the Crown lands was reserved by these Acts to the Protestant clergy of Canada; and would not a Protestant going to Canada and making purchases upon the faith of those grants for the ministration of his religion have a similar ground of complaint? But what occurred in the year 1837? On the 21st of July in that year, Lord Glenelg, in writing to Sir Francis Head, observed, "Her Majesty's royal prerogative will invariably be exerted in maintaining in Upper Canada those rights with which the Churches of England and Scotland are invested by law within the province." There was the faith of Parliament and the honour of the Crown pledged to them, and there was the confirmation by Lord Glenelg of that pledge in 1837. And in April, 1840, they were informed that the Judges expounded the Act of 1791 as effectually securing all allotments and endowments already completed, and simply allowing interference prospectively. Well, in Toronto they had forty-four rectories endowed from the reserves, the incumbents receiving from 100l. to 170l. per annum, and the missionaries 100l. per annum. Was it just or right that those rectories should be placed under the power of the Canadian Legislature? They did not take the care of lands unallotted, or of funds not yet distributed, but they interfere with rights which have been already guaranteed and secured; they said that all the rights that had been acquired, all the endowments that had been made, everything that had been done, past and present, was to be taken out of their hands and handed over to be dealt with at the will and pleasure of the Canadian Legislature. It appeared to him that that was contrary to every principle of moral justice. The Act of 1791 did not touch any property that had been acquired, nor did it divest it of Imperial Parliamentary control—on the contrary, it preserved that Imperial Parliamentary control over the Ecclesiastical and Crown rights; and the noble Lord, in his Act for the union of the two provinces of Canada, copied that section word for word. But now, when they sought to do away with the provisions of that Act, and to trample upon the arrangement then made, and which should have been final, they withdrew all control, and left the matter entirely in the hands of the Canadian Legislature. Suppose the old incumbents were not replaced, and that congregations went out relying on the good faith and honour of Parliament that ministration should be provided for them. This was not, as the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Colonies seemed to suppose, a question of endowment and establishment, but a case of spoliation of property. Suppose these Canadian brethren went out to the colonies, had they not a right, under the circumstances, to suppose that Parliament was bound by its pledge? The grant was to the Church for the maintenance of the Protestant clergy, and according to the increase of the population. The congregations were a part of the Church, the laity was a part of the Church, and the members of the Church of England had increased considerably of late years. In 1840 there were only 80,000 Episcopalians in the diocese of Toronto; at present they amounted to about a quarter of a million. In 1800 they had only 5 clergymen; in 1819 they had 10; in 1847 they had 118, and in 1851 they had 150. Between 1847 and 1851, the clergy reserves were made available. At present they had 3 bishops, 242 clergymen, and 197 missionaries of the Propagation Society, and at least 200 additional clergymen might be usefully employed in Canada. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume) looked upon the question with great indifference. He said, "Rob the Church, provided you do not touch the Consolidated Fund." The Church did not ask them to endow it with additional property, or to tax the other inhabitants of the place; nay, so much was that objected to, that in 1823 the Colonial Act was passed to prevent the Protestant clergy receiving tithes on the very ground of their already receiving stipends from the Government. He maintained that they had a right to attend to the claims of their brethren in Canada; but the misfortune was that there was no political influence enlisted on their side in that House. Every right-thinking man, however, sympathised, he was sure, in their behalf. He repeated that they had no right to abrogate all those Acts, and deprive the clergymen of the Established Church of their maintenance. He recollected, on a very remarkable occasion, the right rev. Prelate the Bishop of Oxford observing, when some people were saying that the Church ought to have freedom, and that, even if its property were taken away, it might safely rely upon its doctrines and the purity of its faith, "We presented Christianity as a philosophy, instead of planting it as a Church." The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War (Mr. S. Herbert), on an occasion of the Jubilee of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, stated, that— In many colonies the provision made for ministers is very mean; that many other colonies are wholly destitute of a maintenance for ministers and the public worship of God; that for want of such maintenance many of the King's subjects are without the administration of God's word and sacraments, and seem to be abandoned to atheism and infidelity; that for want of learned and orthodox ministers, Romish priests are encouraged to pervert the King's subjects to Popish superstition and idolatry. Which of those things is not now still true? It shows that this great battle is still to be fought, and the war which we have had to wage against superstition on the one hand, and infidelity on the other, rages at this moment with equal fierceness, and that the struggle must be maintained by us without flinching till the end of time. Surely if this Empire be spreading itself over every quarter of the globe, we may think that Providence has given us a mission to circulate through the whole world the truths of Divine revelation, and it would be indeed melancholy if we were to carry out of these strange climes our love of freedom, our language, our arts, our science, and should not take out for the generations who are to succeed us the pure evangelical doctrines of our primitive apostolic Church. His Grace the Duke of Newcastle, upon the same subject, spoke as follows:— Sir—Allusion has been made by every speaker to the vast extent of our colonial empire. It is vast not only in extent, but in the number of its people. It is not only numerous, but heterogeneous. It is an empire which it is difficult under any circumstances to govern; and portions of it, in the fulness of time and of circumstances, may be expected, although perhaps not in our day, to form independent kingdoms. I firmly believe that the best hope for the maintenance of the kindly feelings which should exist between us and those who are of our blood and our kindred, so long as our present relations with those colonies continue, and the greatest security that we can have for peaceful and happy relations with them whenever they may, if they ever do, part from us and form independent Powers, will be, whilst we ensure them all civil rights, to use also our utmost exertions to render them every assistance in the profession of a common faith, and to offer them every means which it is in our power to give for the celebration of the rites and the maintenance of the observances of our holy Church. Now, were they going to deprive the Church of Canada of that property by which its ministers were supported? Was that property too large for the support of those ministers? Why, it must be admitted on all sides that it afforded, after all, a most scanty support to the clergy. Let them consider the case of the poor emigrants going to Canada, and expecting to find all those consolations which the ministers of their religion were so capable of affording them. If the Government deprived that religion of its usual support, how was it to be maintained? And what was to become of the morals of the people in the absence of that religion? They were likely to fall into infidelity and crime. Those lands had been given under a most solemn engagement to the maintenance of the Church in Canada after it had grown up; and he contended that under all circumstances that engagement should be held sacred. The faith of the Crown was pledged to the entire of the grant, and the Government had even admitted in their Bill that they could not delegate to the Colonies the power of dealing with a matter in which the faith of the Crown was pledged. To what extent was that faith pledged? It was pledged to its own grant, and it had not now the power of making a law to get rid of their obligation. The Government now said, that whatever the contract was which they had entered into in 1840, they were bound to observe it. But they should recollect that they were not only bound themselves not to violate it, but they ought not to put it into the power of others to do so. Reference was made to the debate of the 6th July, 1840. He would put it to any honest man to come to any other conclusion than that it was not only a contract of 7,700l. a year, but also one involving an addition of one-fourth of the lands which were subsequently to be sold. They were bound to perform that contract in its entirety, in the same way as a contract entered into by two honourable men, such as the late right hon. Baronet Sir Robert Peel and the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell), when, influenced by the same spirit, they agreed to perform their part of it. Upon what grounds, then, he asked, could some of the Crown lawyers say that when those lands were secularised, the contract might be considered at an end? He would argue that it was the duty of England to exert its power for the diffusion of truth which was committed to its charge. The very pre-eminence of England depended upon the manner in which it executed its trust. It was not for the mere purpose of making a great market for Manchester that England maintained its colonial empire; it was to discharge that great moral obligation which it undertook as one of its paramount duties; and when the Crown had obtained an increase of power by its conquests, that increase of power brought with it an increase of duties. If they thought it their duty to devote a portion of the property of the Colonies for the security of their faith, and that Parliament had confirmed the grant, was it not, he asked, most dishonourable to violate every principle upon which the rights of property were established, even apart altogether from the religious question? Circumstances might, no doubt, arise for a more equitable redistribution, but that was altogether different from confiscation. While they endeavoured to effect such equitable redistribution, they should preserve the fund for its original purposes. Well, then, how stood the question? Here was the faith of the Crown pledged, the honour of Parliament was pledged, and the duty of England was pledged, to the maintenance of this grant. With all those facts before them, they asked Parliament now by one fell swoop to do away with it at the simple cry of the Colonial Legislature. If the Colonies were to be free, let England, at all events, be faithful. Let her preserve her honour and her faith, and let the Colonies be fully empowered to preserve her possessions; but let this country, in the face of the whole world, be worthy of the honoured name and glory of Old England.


said, that some of the expressions which had been freely used by the hon. and learned Gentleman who had just sat down would have been employed with great effect if they were capable of having the least application to the subject. They had been told a great deal of private right and of Parliamentary title; but both private right and Parliamentary title were preserved entirely and with great strictness by the Bill which was now before the House, He (the Solicitor General) desired that the House would discriminate between the title of the individuals who were in the enjoyment of stipends, and that kind of Parliamentary title of which the hon. and learned Gentleman had spoken, and which was nothing more than a power given to a Society here in England to distribute, at their will and pleasure, a large amount of money among certain individuals they might select in Canada. The Act of 1840 had provided that certain stipends should be paid to existing incumbents during their natural lives or incumbencies; and then it had been stipulated that the whole of the remaining portion of the funds should be thrown into a common fund, and should be distributed in this country for the benefit of the people of Canada. And when the hon. and learned Gentleman talked of a Parliamentary compact, he (the Solicitor General) desired to know for whose benefit had that compact been made, and with whom had those stipulations been entered into? They had been entered into for the benefit of the Canadian people; and surely the compact could not be violated, and faith could not be broken, by placing under the control of the Canadians themselves those stipulations and agreements which had been entered into for their advantage alone. It had been argued with great perversion of language that this Bill was a violation of a compact, and a breach of faith. But what was the fact? A provision had been made for the benefit of the people of Canada, and we now said to them, "You are the best judges of your own interests—deal with the provisions as you think best according to your own judgment; we shall no longer restrain that self-government which you have a right to enjoy." The Government had consulted existing rights, and observed the good faith of the Crown and the spirit of the Act of Parliament by handing over this fund to be dealt with by the Canadian Legislature according to its own sense of what the colony required, and by relieving Canada from that badge of degradation which compelled it to submit to have the fund doled out by the medium of a society in England. The hon. and learned Gentleman had referred to the case of Canada, where the Crown, having made a grant, sought afterwards by another grant to interfere with the first. Undoubtedly the second grant was a violation of the first; but what was done by this Bill? It preserved everything that had the character or semblance of a grant, and placed at the entire disposal of the people of Canada, who were now possessed of representative institutions, that fund which was originally established for their benefit; yet, by a confusion of terms it had been described as if it were an invasion of the vested rights of the people of Canada.


said, that he was sorry to say that in his humble opinion the proceedings of that day would cast a stain upon the character of British statesmen; and in the short, and he might add feeble, speech to which they had just listened from the Solicitor General, he had heard nothing to affect that opinion. He should regret giving personal offence to any Member of the Government, or to any hon. Member opposite; but he thought the time had come when those who entertained a respect and reverence for fair dealing and honour in the conduct of public affairs, ought not to shrink from the declaration of those feelings in plain terms, and at any cost. His mind was so full of the extraordinary course which the Government had taken that night, that he was not disposed to dwell as he might have done upon the extraordinary vacillation, inconsistency, self-contradiction, and contradiction of one another, which had marked the proceedings of the Government in their whole conduct of this Bill. Neither would he dwell upon that tempting theme which was the main ground upon which the right hon. Baronet the First Commissioner of Works (Sir W. Moles-worth) had argued this question, namely, that this Bill would place the Roman Catholic and the Protestant endowments upon the same footing. The right hon, Baronet had taken that ground in a tone of not slight censure towards those who opposed him, and coming from one who, having given notice that he would himself bring forward this measure when the late Government declared that they would not touch it, ought, above all others, to have been conversant with the details of this Bill, and before be undertook to speak upon it, ought to have understood what its provisions were; yet the right hon. Baronet, in the Committee on the Bill, was directly contradicted by the noble Lord the Member for the City of London, who declared that, so far from putting the Roman Catholic and Protestant endowments in Canada upon the same footing, it was intended by this measure that the important safeguards provided by the Act of 1791, for the protection of Protestant interests, should now be withdrawn. Those safeguards were, that although the Colonial Legislature might vary or repeal the existing arrangement, it could only do so subject to the provision that the Bill of the Colonial Legislature should be sent home to be laid upon the table of the Imperial Parliament, and that an address agreed to by either House should prevent the Royal Assent from being given to the measure. That was the footing upon which the Protestant interests stood under the Act of 1791, and upon which the Roman Catholic endowments stood at this very moment. But the noble Lord had explained that the right hon. Baronet and the Under Secretary for the Colonies were both wrong, and that this protection was no longer to be afforded to the Protestant interests of Canada. But when he (Sir John Pakington) asked the noble Lord whether the first clause of the Bill would carry out that object, the noble Lord admitted that the wording was doubtful, and would require amendment on the Report. Accordingly on the Report it was amended; and what was done? Why, that in addition to the 37th and 38th sections of the Union Act of 1840, the 39th section was also altered. This was the only Amendment in the Bill; and he was told by learned Friends of his own that that 39th section did not remove the uncertainty, and that it was still doubtful whether the wording of the clause would fulfil the avowed intention of the noble Lord to deprive the Protestant endowments of the protection which was still retained in behalf of the Roman Catholic endowments. What was the next proceeding in Committee? Why, to omit the third clause of the Bill, because the noble Lord told them he felt bound to retain the guarantee upon the Consolidated Fund which was given by the Act of 1840. He (Sir John Pakington) was struck to find, at the close of the former debate, that one of the most able Members on the other side, but who, under the present coalition, was excluded from office (Sir G. Grey), took a view of the guarantee totally different from that of the noble Lord, and raised the question whether, in the event of the Canadian Legislature secularising these reserves, the guarantee upon the Consolidated Fund would be still binding. In consequence of the opinion given by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Morpeth, he (Sir J. Pakington), thinking it most important that the House should not be left in doubt with regard to the effect of the guarantee, had felt it his duty to ask the Government what were their views and intentions respecting it. To his grief and astonishment, the noble Lord had told the House that night that the law officers of the Crown were of opinion that the guarantee would have no force or effect in the event of the secularisation of the reserves; and added, that he did not intend to introduce any provisions into this Bill for the purpose of giving effect to the guarantee. Now, he would show that the noble Lord was as much bound as any man could be either to withdraw this Bill, or to insert in it provisions that would give full effect to that guarantee. In his (Sir J. Pakington's) opinion, the time had come when they ought explicitly to make these declarations. It was a sad day for England. ["Hear, hear!"] No affectation of ridicule should turn him from giving expression to his sincere opinions; he treated such affectation of ridicule as it deserved, and he said it was a sad day for England when party necessities and party feelings induced men of as high honour and character as any Members of that House in their personal capacity, when transacting the business of Ministers of the Crown, to deviate from those high principles which should regulate their public conduct, and to become parties to transactions from which, he believed, in their private affairs they would shrink. What was the language of the noble Lord in 1840, when, on introducing the Bill, he explained to the House the reasons for the change he was proposing on this subject? He (Sir J. Pakington) referred to it with sorrow. The noble Lord said— It was proposed, reverting to the principle which used to be adopted, and was agreed to by Parliament, but which was changed in 1833, when some modification was made by the noble Lord opposite, that the whole of the proceeds now payable to the Church of England and Church of Scotland out of the revenue of Upper Canada should be guaranteed permanently to the Church of England and the Church of Scotland. That was the expression of the noble Lord, as applied to his own Act of 1840, and he said immediately afterwards— It was now proposed to guarantee the payment permanently. Sir Robert Peel also, on the same occasion, used the word "perpetuity" as conclusive proof of the spirit and object with which that arrangement was made. But the noble Lord's argument was confined to his speech of 1840. On the 19th of March last, when this Bill was in Committee, in moving the omission of the 3rd Clause the noble Lord said— It was proposed that, in case of a deficiency in the clergy reserves, a collateral security was to be given upon the Consolidated Fund; so that if the sums arising from the clergy reserves should fail to be sufficient in amount, those sums to be paid respectively to the clergy of the Church of England and the clergy of the Church of Scotland should be paid from the Consolidated Fund. He thought that security would be a perpetual guarantee. And the noble Lord referred to the speech of Sir Robert Peel in 1840, and said— Sir Robert Peel, who took part in the debate, and used nearly the same words, thought that the House ought to accept the guarantee in perpetuity. What faith was there in words?—what faith was there in public men? How could the colonies place confidence in the transactions of Parliament, if those repeated expressions of intentions were to be thus lightly departed from, and, he feared he must add, under the threatenings of a portion of the noble Lord's usual supporters? Again, the noble Lord stated that the Duke of Newcastle was about to send a despatch to Lord Elgin; and the hon. Member for Manchester had expressed a not unnatural curiosity, in which he confessed that he (Sir J. Pakington) had largely shared, as to what the nature of that document would be. He had anticipated that, under any circumstances, it would be a most extraordinary State paper; but the reality had surpassed anything that he had imagined. After the statement which the noble Lord had made as to the opinion of the law officers and the intentions of the Government, it was more than ever interesting to know in what manner and to what extent the communication of Her Majesty's Government had been made to the Governor of Canada, in order to induce the action of the Canadian Legislature. The noble Lord said "that the Duke of Newcastle proposed to write to Lord Elgin, desiring him to lay the whole case before the Parliament of Canada, and expressing the wish and expectation of Her Majesty's Government that the Canadian Legislature would make some provision to meet the justice of the case." Well, where did they find this in the despatch of the Duke of Newcastle? He (Sir J. Pakington) was sorry to say, nowhere. In that despatch they found no request that Lord Elgin would lay the whole case before the Canadian Legislature—no expression of "the wish and expectation of Her Majesty's Government that the Canadian Legislature would make some provision to meet the justice of the case;" but they found a despatch, written as if the man who wrote it was afraid of his subject. To many parts of that despatch he (Sir John Pakington) turned with pain and regret. The Duke of Newcastle wrote— It seems, however, on further inquiry, that there was an understanding on the subject of that clause in 1840, between Her Majesty's then Ministers on the one hand, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, as representing the Church of Enggland in Canada, on the other. The provision established by it was made a condition for the concession then required on the part of the Church of England. This being the case, it may be thought that considerations of good faith are involved in its maintenance. He quite agreed with the noble Duke that if there were a condition, and the understanding and the condition upon which it was based were violated, there would be a breach of faith; and he thought too it was to have been expected that an English statesman, writing on such a subject, would have expressed himself in somewhat stronger language. The noble Duke went on to say— Under these circumstances, Her Majesty's Government have thought it advisable to propose the withdrawal of the third section, which was accordingly struck out of the Bill by the House of Commons in Committee on the 18th current. Now, although recognising this understanding, and that the violation of its conditions would be a breach of faith, yet the Government, having ascertained from its law officers that the guarantee would not be effectual even after the withdrawal of the 3rd Clause, did not think it advisable to take any steps to give effect to the obligations which had been solemnly entered into by Parliament. He would now advert to the language which had been used by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was sorry to hear the right hon. Gentleman close his observations on the second reading of the Bill with a declaration that he considered the measure "just and righteous." He (Sir J. Pakington) had ended his own speech on the same occasion by avowing his conviction that it was "a most unjust and unrighteous Bill;" and he confessed that he regretted to find the right hon. Gentleman in his reply, for the sake of a passing cheer and an antithesis, making the declaration that it was "just and righteous," and using those solemn words, he thought lightly and recklessly, as applied to a Bill which he was obliged, a fortnight afterwards, to admit contained a breach of faith. The argument of the opponents of the second reading was, that the Bill involved a breach of faith. The Government and the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer denied that it was a breach of faith; and yet, when the right hon. Gentleman argued in Committee in favour of the withdrawal of the 3rd Clause, he had no other ground except that it contained a breach of faith; and if it did contain a breach of faith, it need not be said that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was not justified in calling the Bill "just and righteous." What was the language of the right hon. Gentleman? It was stronger, if possible, than that of the noble Lord. The right hon. Gentleman said— He had been a party in 1840, as well as his noble Friend the Member for the City of London, to the arrangements which then took place, and nothing could be more distinct than the character of the provisions of the Act, which amounted, both in spirit and the letter, to a compact, not as between this country and the colony, but as between all the parties that influenced, and swayed, and governed the deliberations of the Parliament. It was not a compact merely by means of construction, but a compact of the most distinct kind. They had the Church of England contending for the exclusive right to the possession of those reserves, and considering even the Church of Scotland as an intruder; and they had the House of Lords, with the Duke of Wellington at their head, prepared to vindicate its rights. It was under those circumstances that the arrangement was made. It was made by a distinct and formal communication between the Archbishop of Canterbury on the one hand, as representing the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and the Colonial Church, and by Sir Robert Peel and his political friends; and on the other, by the Administration of the day; and the basis of the arrangement was, that on the one hand the Church of England, and the Church of Scotland with it, should make a concession of any exclusive claim, and that neither the Church of England, nor the Church of Scotland, nor both together, should advance such a claim; and the consideration they obtained in return was nothing else than the clause which gave the guarantee on the Consolidated Fund. That was the equivalent, and the sole equivalent, by means of which, in 1840, the settlement of this question was effected."—[3 Hansard, cxxv. 492-3.] Here he confessed that he joined issue with the right hon. Gentleman. He could not draw the distinction which the right hon. Gentleman, and the noble Lord also, when he proposed to strike out the 3rd Clause, appeared to draw between this guarantee and the other parts of the arrangement. In his opinion, the whole of the Act of 1840 was founded upon that negotiation and arrangement which then took place; and he maintained that the claim of the Church of England and the Church of Scotland to the portion of the reserved fund which that portion of the Act of 1840 guaranteed to them was, as binding on the Government of the country as any claim on the Consolidated Fund. He was at a loss to understand, after the words he had read, and after the strong expressions used by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how the House could be a party to the passing of this Bill without any guarantee whatever; and, allowing this Bill to stand in its present shape, permit the Canadian Legislature altogether to divert those funds from the purposes to which they had been applied. They had heard from different Gentlemen—and, he was sorry, from one on his side of the House—of the sacredness of the right of self-government overriding all the obligations of those Acts of Parliament. That question had already been thoroughly discussed, and he would not enter into it further; he would only say that he differed altogether, even from the ground which Lord Gray laid down as the foundation of his despatch of 1851, when he gave as a reason for conceding this Bill to the Canadian Parliament, that it was a measure exclusively affecting the people of Canada. He (Sir J. Pakington) granted that in one sense that was true, namely, that the people whom it did affect were Canadian people; but, in the broad sense of those words, he must deny the accuracy of the expression. He denied that this question affected the Canadian people as a whole. In what sense did it affect them? Let the House bear in mind that between 600,000 and 700,000 of the Canadian people were Roman Catholics, in the Lower Province. In what sense, then, did this question affect those Roman Catholics? They had nothing to do with it. He denied that it affected the Canadian people as a whole, except that portion of the people who drew their incomes from those reserves. When they talked of this question affecting the whole of the Canadian people, let the House remember that not a farthing of it came out of the pockets of the Canadian people. The Canadian people did not pay. They could not even say the Canadian people paid for it. That portion of the lands was given by the Crown for the maintenance of religion, and it never had been under the power of the Canadian people. Another argument had been used, much to his surprise, namely, that which had been founded on the expressions used in his (Sir J. Pakington's) despatch with regard to the possible redistribution of this property. Because he admitted the possibility of that redistribution, the Chancellor of the Exchequer thought that that justified spoliation. He could not understand the logic of such an argument as that, though it was cheered by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge. But that right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Goulburn) was now an Ecclesiastical Commissioner, and in that capacity was busily engaged in the redistribution of Church property. He (Sir John Pakington) was one of those who thought that when Sir Robert Peel established the Ecclesiastical Commission for the purpose of the redistribution of the Church property, he proved himself a true friend of the Church, and did one of the wisest acts which marked his career; but he thought his right hon. Friend (Mr. Goulburn), although he cheered the attack on his (Sir J. Pakington's) despatch, would not be willing to admit that because he was occupied in redistributing Church property for strictly ecclesiastical purposes, he was engaged in the spoliation or confiscation of Church property; and therefore he did not see that the right hon. Gentleman was the man to cheer the argument that, because he (Sir J. Pakington) had admitted the possibility of a redistribution of the Church property, he was, therefore, justifying others in spoliation. He did not mean to say the Government, in bringing forward this measure, were confiscating the property of the Church in Canada; but they were accessories before the fact. If they enabled the Canadian Legislature to deal with those reserves, and they were confiscated, the responsibility of it must rest on their shoulders much more than upon those of the Canadian Legislature. The Government knew what the object of that Legislature was, and, knowing it, they were content to abandon the security which they now posssesed. Again, it had been asked of the Members of the late Government, with an air of triumph, if they opposed this Bill, what they meant to do? He thought the hon. Gentleman (Mr. F. Peel) said the Members of the late Government were now tampering with this question. He (Sir J. Pakington) would tell that hon. Gentleman what they were willing to do, and that was, they would do justice to those who had a claim for justice at the hands of the Imperial Government. This was the question clearly before them, Was the honour of this country pledged, or was it not? In his opinion it was. In his opinion they would not pass this Bill without violating the honour of this coun- try; and therefore it was clear what he had to do. He believed if Lord Grey in 1851 had done what he ought to have done—if he had told the Canadian Legislature "This was a contract made in 1840; these reserves are dedicated irrevocably to religious purposes, and we can be no party to deviating from that appropriation"—he (Sir J. Pakington) believed the Canadian Legislature would have at once subscribed to the truth and justice of the argument; and we should have heard no more on the subject. But he (Sir J. Pakington) went further, and he said if they would not maintain their faith and the pledge they had given to the most loyal portion of their fellow-subjects in Canada—if they were so feeble or so timid that they could not fulfil their obligations—the time was come when they could no longer retain Canada with honour to this country. He had always believed, and he believed now, that when they signed the Act of Union of those two provinces they virtually separated Canada from England. That separation, then, only became a question of time; it was a question of time now. He should be sorry to see the day when they lost Canada; but if there was one measure by which they would hasten that separation more than another, it was by the deep offence they were now giving to the loyal portion of the people of that colony. This was a wrongful Bill. He could not be diverted from his deep conviction, in the first place, that they were imperatively bound by that guarantee, the solemnity and binding nature of which the noble Lord had recognised; and they were bound, too, by the law of the country as laid down by the Judges in the opinion they gave when they said the power to vary and repeal under the Acts of 1791 must be held to be prospective—that when once those lands had been allotted and appropriated they became property—they were now property so far as he could form a judgment of what was property—and that House could neither touch that property, nor, under the circumstances, authorise others to touch it without being guilty of an act of spoliation. As an act of spoliation, then, he regarded this Bill; and he condemned and denounced it as a measure which, in his deliberate conviction, was a breach of the faith of the Crown, a compromise of the honour of Parliament, and inconsistent with the welfare of the empire.


I must, in the first place, admit that the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Napier), and the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, have not shrunk from stating all the magnitude and all the importance of the consequences which they anticipate from this measure. They have not shrunk, either, from stating, that if the refusal of this power to the Legislature of Canada should lead to the separation of Canada from this empire, they are prepared to embrace that alternative. Now, before the House rejects a Bill from which such consequences are predicted, it is surely worth their while to consider whether there are any sufficient reasons, in justice or policy, why that rejection should take place. The right hon. Gentleman has spoken much of the pain with which he has viewed those guarantees broken, and those principles departed from, which he thinks ought to be maintained. But before we assent to his doctrines on this subject, let us look a little at the nature of this property of the clergy reserves, and what is its present position. In 1791, Mr. Pitt, proposing to separate Canada into two provinces, of which the one should be French and Roman Catholic, and the other should be English and Protestant, proposed that, in order to maintain a Protestant clergy in respectability, one-seventh of the lands belonging to the Crown, the waste lands, should be devoted to their maintenance. When pressed by Mr. Fox as to the inconvenience of such an arrangement, as to the numbers there might be inhabiting that province who were not Protestants, or, being Protestants, did not belong to the Church of England—Mr. Pitt said, fairly and candidly—"This is an arrangement open to revision; and if at some future time it should be found that the quantity of land is too much, that the Protestant clergy do not require so large a provision, this, like every other part of the Act I am proposing, will be subject to revision." Accordingly a power to vary and repeal that Act was included in the Bill of 1791. In 1831, Lord Goderich, with the approbation of the Crown, advised the Legislature of Upper Canada to part with the endowment altogether, and to appropriate otherwise the funds arising from that endowment. It would be seen from this how little did Lord Goderich, then Secretary of State, suppose that this was an inalienable endowment with regard to which the honour of the Crown was pledged. In 1840 a Bill came over here from Canada proposing to make an alteration in the distribution of the proceeds of these clergy reserves. I found that it was impossible to obtain the approbation of Parliament to that Bill; I found that it was liable to objection in point of law; I found also that an arrangement of a similar kind was not likely to pass through the other House of Parliament; and I consented, though I did not think the arrangement an equitable one, to a division of the proceeds of those reserves. I am quite ready to state that I considered this in the view of a final arrangement of the matter; that I believed the Churches of England and Scotland would employ those sums which were devoted to them by that Act of Parliament. At the same time, it was impossible not to see that, in the course of events, the affairs of Canada might take that complexion, that it would be impossible to maintain that guarantee. Well, what has happened? For many years the arrangement was undisturbed. The right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down says that the guarantee has been lightly withdrawn. Was it lightly withdrawn? In July, 1850, the Canadian Assembly addressed the Crown, requesting to have the power to dispose otherwise of the clergy reserves, or rather of the funds arising from them. The application was considered by the Government of that day; and Lord Grey answered that it was a matter exclusively affecting the domestic concerns of Canada, and therefore, although Her Majesty's Government greatly regretted that the Act of Parliament should be disturbed, yet they could not, according to all the principles which they upheld and professed, refuse to Canada the power of interfering with that arrangement, and making a new distribution of those reserves. Was it a matter of domestic concern for Canada, or not, that the members of the Church of England, being one-eighth of the population of Upper Canada, should have one-half of the proceeds of these reserves? Was that a domestic concern of Canada, or of Great Britain—was it a matter for the consideration of the Canadians themselves, or one for the consideration of the population of the United Kingdom, and to be settled by the Imperial Legislature? I think it cannot well be denied that the persons most interested in that arrangement were the people of Canada themselves. But what said the right hon. Gentleman when he was Secretary of State? He said he was for redistribution. He said that he should not object, when it was shown to be expedient, to depart from or disturb the existing arrangement. But now he says that redistribution is entirely different from spoliation. He says that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Goulburn), as an Ecclesiastical Commissioner, is engaged in redistribution, but that that is very different from spoliation. But the right hon. Gentleman must not escape in that way. What my right hon. Friend is engaged in doing, is transferring property held by the Church of England in one portion of England to the clergy of the Church of England in another portion of England. But he says that what is pro-proposed in Canada is not a redistribution of this kind, but that its object is to give to other Protestant sects, and even to the Roman Catholics, according to their numbers—when the Church of England has but a small portion of tho population, and the others comprise seven-eighths of it—to make a redistribution of these revenues more in conformity with the requirements of the population. This, he says, is totally different from the redistribution in which my hon. Friend is concerned. And he says—"I hope if such are the right hon. Gentleman's doctrines with regard to spoliation and redistribution, that he will not apply those doctrines to the Church of England in this country; I hope we shall not hear from him that any redistribution of the funds of the Church of England, to Wesleyans or Baptists, would not be spoliation." The right hon. Gentleman himself, then, is not free from the charge of proposing a different distribution of Church property. What I stated in 1840 was, that I hoped this arrangement would not be disturbed; and now I come to that particular point on which the right hon. Gentleman has laid the greatest stress, namely, as to the 8th section of that Act of 1840, and the guarantee that was proposed from the Consolidated Fund. But he has omitted one part of the statement I made the other night. I went over all that had taken place in 1840. I proposed to leave out the 3rd Clause; but I stated that the consequence of leaving out that clause might be argued in two different ways. I said it might be argued that that guarantee was only to be considered as contingent upon the failure of the clergy reserves to form a sufficient fund; or that it might be considered as an absolute guarantee; and upon that question I gave no opinion to the House whatever. All I stated was, that I thought the whole benefit which could in law be derived from that clause ought to remain to the two Churches of England and Scotland—where it had been given. Well, the right hon. Gentleman pressed me very much to obtain the opinion of the law officers of the Crown on that point; and I have obtained it for him. It seems to have given the right hon. Gentleman that peculiar kind of satisfaction which he expressed by the word "pain." It seemed to be a great object with the right hon. Gentleman to obtain the answer. I doubt whether in Canada those who wish these funds to be preserved, at least in part to the Church of England, will thank him for his interference. But certainly I have endeavoured to obtain, and to have the prospect of obtaining, as much as could be obtained for the Church of England and the Church of Scotland, of these reserves; but I did not think it right to oppose the Act of 1840—positive as that Act is as to the great principle that this is a subject of domestic concern, and one upon which the people of Canada ought, by their representatives, to legislate for themselves. What was the right hon. Gentleman's own argument upon this subject last year? He said he could not bear that a subject so sacred should be decided by an accidental majority. Upon which Mr. Hincks, the Colonial Minister of Canada, very aptly inquired, that if accidental majorities were not to decide such questions, what was the meaning of constitutional government? what was to be said as to the many decisions made by the Parliament of this country during the last century? And Mr. Hincks further pointed out that the principle sought to be enforced was not the result of an accidental majority, but that the matter had been deliberately discussed, and was one upon which the people of Canada had come to a mature conclusion. I must own, whether painful or not, it was certainly very mortifying to see that the Provincial Minister had so much the better of Her Majesty's Secretary of State. I own I felt quite humiliated at seeing Her Majesty's Secretary of State so completely defeated by the Colonial Minister. Then the question conies on for our consideration to-night; and I own it appears to me that it can be decided upon no other ground than that which has been taken from the beginning, namely, that this is a question upon which the people of Canada and their representatives must decide. The right hon. Gentleman and the right hon. Member for Midhurst (Mr. Walpole) have talked of the various arguments that have been put, and have said that there is no end to the various grounds upon which the measure has been supported. The fact is, they have endeavoured to shift the ground; and when they have been answered upon all these points, they turn round and say, "You argue the question upon various grounds, and do not put it upon any great issue." But that has only been done to meet the shifts and expedients by which they were endeavouring to oppose this Bill. We have never denied that the great issue is, whether or no you will give the province of Canada the power of legislating for itself on this subject. And that is my answer to the right hon. Member for Midhurst, who tells the House that the voluntary principle is a very bad principle, and that the principle of Church establishments is a very good principle, and leads the people to prosperity and to happiness. All I have to say upon that subject at present is, that that is an argument which I advise the right hon. Gentleman to transmit for the consideration of the Canadian Legislature, whom in the particular application it concerns. If we were arguing the question in this House with respect to the United Kingdom, I should agree with him in the arguments he has put forward; but with regard to this question as it affects the people of Canada (for I do not shrink from that consequence) if the people of Canada were to say, "We are of opinion that Church establishments are not for the benefit of Canada, and that religion will not be injured by adopting the voluntary principle; and that neither the Church of England, nor the Church of Rome, nor the ministers of any other denomination, ought to have incomes from the State, or any part of these clergy reserves"—if that is the conclusion, the strong determination, of the people of Canada on this question, I say they must have their own will in the matter. On the other hand, if they shall think that at least a large portion of these clergy reserves should be distributed equally among the ministers of the various religious denominations, I should think that they would have come to a very wise conclusion; but it is a conclusion which I will use no force, no compulsion of any kind, to make them arrive at. The right hon. Gentleman has argued as though the principles now sought to be effected were new principles of government—as though Her Majesty's Min- isters were endeavouring to establish a system which had been hitherto unknown. If, however, he will look back to the debate in 1791, he will see that, on the first introduction of the Constitutional Act by Mr. Pitt, Mr. Fox laid down that rule which we now adopt, and which we think must be our rule on this subject. He said, "He was willing to declare that the giving to a colony so far distant from England, the power of legislation and of governing itself, would exceedingly predispose him in favour of every part of the plan. If the colony was to have a local government liberally formed, that would incline him to overlook defects in other parts of the Bill: because he was prepossessed with the belief that the only way of retaining distant colonies with advantage was to enable them to govern themselves." That was the principle laid down by Mr. Fox in 1791, sixty-two years before the present time. It is, assuredly, the only principle by which we can hope to maintain harmony and union between this country and Canada. If we tell the people of Canada we must have our own notions adopted by them, must make our own ideas prevail, and that our own laws and regulations must be the normal rules and regulations of Canada, then indeed the connexion between this country and that great province will be very doubtful. The right hon. Member for Midhurst says that the Imperial Legislature must govern the colonies according to its own views, leaving the colonial Assemblies to regulate minor matters. It is quite obvious to me—and I am sure the majority of the House will agree with me—that that is not the kind of connexion which can long subsist. When you have a province with 2,000,000 of inhabitants, which is daily and hourly increasing in population and wealth, which is 3,000 miles from our own shores, the condition of which differs in many respects from that of the United Kingdom—is it wise, is it possible, to say to such a province, "We will make laws, leaving to you only the minor regulations?" No, Sir, the connexion between us and Canada must be founded upon liberal and upon generous principles;—so founded, it is my belief, that the connexion may long endure. The Canadians will value your generosity; they will maintain their deference for the name of Britons. I believe that such a connexion—highly honourable to both, highly honourable to this country, and to the colonies—may be the source of prosperity to both. But if, on the other hand, you attempt to go back to that system of minute regulation, then indeed you may bid adieu, not to this noble colony alone, but also to many others. These principles are not new principles; they are the ancient principles upon which our colonial empire was founded. I hope the House will not depart from them this night; and if you confirm the third reading of this Bill, I believe you will strengthen and perpetuate the connexion with our colonies.

Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes 288; Noes 208: Majority 80.

List of the AYES.
A'Court, C. H. W. Clifford, H. M.
Adair, H. E. Clinton, Lord R.
Adderley, C. B. Cobbett, J. M.
Aglionby, H. A. Cobden, R.
Alcock, T. Cockburn, Sir A. J. E.
Anderson, Sir J. Cocks, T. S.
Bailey, C. Collier, R. P.
Baines, rt. hon. M. T. Coote, Sir C. H.
Ball, J. Cowan, C.
Baring, H. B. Cowper, hon. W. F.
Baring, hon. F. Craufurd, E. H. J.
Barnes, T. Crossley, F.
Bass, M. T. Currie, R.
Beaumont, W. B. Dalrymple, Visct.
Bell, J. Dashwood, Sir G. H.
Bellew, Capt. Davie, Sir H. R. F
Berkeley, Adm. Denison, J. E.
Berkeley, hon. C. F. Dering, Sir E.
Berkeley, C. L. G. Divett, E.
Bethell, R. Drumlanrig, Visct.
Biddulph, R. M. Duff, J.
Biggs, W. Duffy, C. G.
Blackett, J. F. B. Duke, Sir J.
Bland, L. H. Duncan, G.
Bonham-Carter, J. Duncombe, T.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Dundas, G.
Bowyer, G. Dundas, F.
Boyle, hon. Col. East, Sir J. B.
Brady, J. Ellice, rt. hon. E.
Brand, hon. H. Ellice, E.
Bright, J. Elliot, hon. J. E.
Brocklehurst, J. Emlyn, Visct.
Brockman, E. D. Euston, Earl of
Brotherton, J. Evans, Sir De L.
Brown, W. Evans, W.
Browne, V. A. Ewart, W.
Bruce, Lord E. Feilden, M. J.
Bruce, H. A. Fergus, J.
Burke, Sir T. J. Ferguson, Col.
Butler, C. S. Ferguson, J.
Byng, hon. G. H. C. Fitzgerald, J. D.
Cardwell, rt. hon. E. Fitzgerald, Sir J. F.
Cavendish, hon. C. C. Fitzgerald, W. R. S.
Cavendish, hon. G. Fitzroy, hon. H.
Chambers, M. Fitzwilliam, hon. G. W.
Chambers, T. Forster, M.
Charteris, hon. F. Forster, C.
Cheetham, J. Fortescue, C.
Christy, S. Fox, R. M.
Clay, Sir W. Fox, W. J.
Freestun, Col. Marshall, W.
French, F. Massey, W. N.
Gardner, R. Matheson, A.
Gaskell, J. M. Matheson, Sir J.
Gibson, rt. hon. T. M. Maule, hon. Col.
Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E. Meagher, T.
Gladstone, Capt. Miall, E.
Glyn, G. C. Milligan, R.
Goodman, Sir G. Mills, T.
Goold, W. Milner, W. M. E.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Milnes, R. M.
Gower, hon. F. L. Mitchell, T. A.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Moffatt, G.
Greene, J. Molesworth, rt. hn. Sir W.
Gregson, S. Monck, Visct.
Grenfell, C. W. Moncreiff, J.
Greville, Col. F. Monsell, W.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Moore, G. H.
Grosvenor, Lord R. Moreton, Lord
Grosvenor, Earl Morris, D.
Hadfield, G. Mostyn, hon. E. M. L.
Hall, Sir B. Muntz, G. F.
Hanmer, Sir J. Murphy, F. S.
Harcourt, G. G. Murrough, J. P.
Hastie, A. Norreys, Lord
Headlam, T. E. O'Brien, C.
Heard, J. I. O'Brien, P.
Heathcote, Sir G. J. O'Brien, Sir S.
Henchy, D. O. O'Flaherty, A.
Heneage, G. H. W. Osborne, R.
Heneage, G. F. Otway, A. J.
Herbert, H. A. Owen, Sir J.
Herbert, rt. hon. S. Paget, Lord A.
Hervey, Lord A. Paget, Lord G.
Heyworth, L. Palmerston, Visct.
Higgins, G. G. O. Patten, J. W.
Hindley, C. Peel, F.
Hogg, Sir J. W. Pellatt, A.
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Peto, S. M.
Hughes, W. B. Phillimore, J. G.
Hume, J. Phillimore, R. J.
Hutchins, E. J. Phinn, T.
Hutt, W. Pigott, F.
Ingham, R. Pilkington, J.
Jackson, W. Pinney, W.
Jermyn, Earl Pollard-Urquhart, W.
Johnstone, Sir J. Ponsonby, hon. A. G. J.
Keating, R. Portal, M.
Keating, H. S. Power, N.
Kennedy, T. Price, Sir R.
King, hon. P. J. L. Price, W. P.
Kingscote, R. N. F. Ricardo, O.
Kinnaird, hon. A. F. Rich, H.
Kirk, W. Robartes, T. J. A.
Labouchere, rt. hon. H. Rumbold, C. E.
Laing, S. Russell, Lord J.
Langston, J. H. Russell, F. C. H.
Langton, H. G. Russell, F. W.
Lawley, hon. F. C. Sadleir, J.
Legh, G. C. Sawle, C. B. G.
Lemon, Sir C. Scholefield, W.
Locke, J. Scobell, Capt.
Lockhart, A. E. Scrope, G. P.
Loveden, P. Scully, F.
Lowe, R. Seymer, H. K.
Lucas, F. Seymour, Lord
Luce, T. Seymour, W. D.
MacGregor, J. Shafto, R. D.
M'Mahon, P. Shee, W.
M'Taggart, Sir J. Shelburne, Earl of
Magan, W. H. Shelley, Sir J. V.
Maguire, J. F. Smith, J. A.
Mangles, R. D. Smith, J. B.
Smith, M. T. Wall, C. B.
Smith, rt. hon. R. V. Walmsley, Sir J.
Smyth, J. G. Walter, J.
Stafford, Marq. of Warner, E.
Stanley, hon. W. O. Wells, W.
Stapleton, J. Whalley, G. H.
Strickland, Sir G. Whatman, J.
Strutt, rt. hon. E. Whitbread, S.
Stuart, Lord D. Wickham, H. W.
Sutton, J. H. M. Wilkinson, W. A
Swift, R. Willcox, B. M.
Tancred, H. W. Williams, W.
Thompson, G. Wilson, J.
Tomline, G. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Towneley, C. Wise, A.
Townshend, Capt. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Traill, G. Wyndham, W.
Tufnell, rt. hon. H. Wyvill, M.
Tynte, Col. C. J. K. Young, rt. hon. Sir J.
Vane, Lord H.
Villiers, rt. hon. C. P. TELLERS.
Vivian, J. H. Hayter, W. G.
Vivian, H. H. Mulgrave, Earl of
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Corry, rt. hn. H. L.
Alexander, J. Cotton, hon. W. H. S.
Arbuthnott, hon. Gen. Crook, J.
Archdall, Capt. M. Davies, D. A. S.
Arkwright, G. Davison, R.
Bagge, W. Disraeli, right hon. B.
Bailey, Sir J. Dod, J. W.
Baillie, H. J. Drax, J. S. W. S. E.
Baird, J. Duckworth, Sir J. T. B.
Ball, E. Duncombe, hon. A.
Baldock, E. H. Duncombe, hon. O.
Bankes, rt. hon. G. Dunne, Col.
Baring, T. Du Pre, C. G.
Barrington, Visct. Egerton, Sir P.
Barrow, W. H. Egerton, E. C.
Bateson, T. Emley, Visct.
Beckett W. Farnham, E. B.
Bennet, P. Farrer, J.
Bentinck, Lord H. Fellowes, E.
Bentinck, G. P. Filmer, Sir E.
Beresford, rt. hon. W. Floyer, J.
Bernard, Visct. Follett, B. S.
Blair, Col. Forbes, W.
Boldero, Col. Forester, rt. hon. Col.
Booker, T. W. Franklyn, G. W.
Booth, Sir R. G. Fraser, Sir W. A.
Bramston, T. W. Freshfield, J. W.
Bremridge, R. Frewen, C. H.
Brisco, M. Galway, Visct.
Bruce, C. L. C. George, J.
Buck, L. W. Gooch, Sir E. S.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Graham, Lord M. W.
Burghley, Lord Granby, Marq. of
Burroughes, H. N. Greaves, E.
Butt, G. M. Greenall, G.
Butt, I. Grogan, E.
Cairns, H. M. Guernsey, Lord
Carnac, Sir J. R. Gwyn, H.
Cayley, E. S. Hale, R. B.
Chelsea, Visct. Halford, Sir H.
Child, S. Hall, Col.
Christopher,rt.hon.R.A. Halsey, T. P.
Clinton, Lord C. P. Hamilton, Lord C.
Clive, hon. R. H. Hamilton, G. A.
Clive, R. Hamilton, G. H.
Codrington, Sir W. Hanbury, hon. C. S. B.
Coles, H. B. Hayes, Sir E.
Compton, H. C. Henley, rt. hon. J. W.
Herries, rt. hon. J. C. North, Col.
Hildyard, R. C. Oakes, J. H. P.
Hill, Lord A. E. Ossulston, Lord
Hotham, Lord Packe, C. W.
Hudson, G. Pakenham, E.
Hume, W. F. Pakington, rt.hon.Sir J.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Palmer, R.
Johnstone, J. Parker, R. T.
Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H. Peacocke, G. M. W.
Jones, Capt. Percy, hon. J. W.
Kelly, Sir F. Prime, R.
Kendall, N. Pugh, D.
King, J. K. Repton, G. W. J.
Knatchbull, W. F. Robertson, P. F.
Knight, F. W. Rolt, P.
Knightley, R. Sandars, G.
Knox, Col. Scott, hon. F.
Knox, hon. W. S. Seaham, Visct.
Lacon, Sir E. Smijth, Sir W.
Langton, W. G. Smith, W. M.
Laslett, W. Smyth, R. J.
Lennox, Lord A. F. Somerset, Capt.
Lennox, Lord H. G. Spooner, R.
Leslie, C. P. Stafford, A.
Liddell, H. G. Stanhope, J. B.
Lindsay, hon. Col. Stephenson, R.
Lockhart, W. Stuart, H.
Lopes, Sir R. Thesiger, Sir F.
Lovaine, Lord Thompson, Ald.
Lowther, hon. Col. Trollope, rt. hon. Sir J.
Lowther, Capt. Tudway, R. C.
Macartney, G. Turner, C.
MacGregor, J. Tyler, Sir G.
Malins, R. Vance, J.
Mandeville, Visct. Vane, Lord A.
Manners, Lord G. Vansittart, G. H.
Manners, Lord J. Verner, Sir W.
March, Earl of Vivian, J. E.
Mare, C. J. Vyse, Capt. H.
Masterman, J. Waddington, D.
Maunsell, T. P. Waddington, H. S.
Maxwell, hon. J. P. Walcott, Adm.
Meux, Sir H. Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
Miles, W. Welby, Sir G. E.
Michell, W. Wellesley, Lord C.
Montgomery, H. L. West, F. R.
Montgomery, Sir G. Whiteside, J.
Moore, R. S. Whitmore, H.
Morgan, O. Wigram, L. T.
Morgan, C. R. Wodehouse, E.
Mullings, J. R. Wyndham, Gen.
Mundy, W. Wynn, H. W. W.
Naas, Lord Wynn, Sir W. W.
Napier, rt. hon. J. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Newark, Visct.
Newdegate, C. N. TELLERS.
Newport, Visct. Mackenzie, W. F.
Noel, hon. G. J. Taylor, Col.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read 3°, and passed.