HC Deb 10 July 1854 vol 134 cc1480-2

Order for Committee read.


said, he should move that the Chairman report progress, because he considered that this Bill was part and parcel of the system of proselytising which it was sought to put in practice in Scotland. There were 250,000 Roman Catholics in that country, and their religious rights ought to be protected.


said, he hoped his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Dunlop) would be allowed to proceed with the Bill; the object of it was to remove the outcast children from the streets, after they were taken up; if any relative or guardian gave security they would be discharged.


said, he could not allow the Bill to proceed. He had suggested certain amendments to the proposer to guard against its proselytising tendencies, but they were rejected. Since the division on the Middlesex Industrial Schools Bill, they had a right to look on that House as pledged to a proselytising course, which they should resist by every means in their power. One Amendment he had suggested was, that the religion of every child should be registered. A clause was inserted in the Middlesex Industrial Schools Bill to that effect, but it had been thrown lout by the Lords. Now, a registry was the only protection for the religious rights of these wretched beings, but it was refused, because it was intended to trample on their religious rights, because that House was determined that the Catholics of this country should have no rights; it was part of the system of their aggression against their religious rights and liberties which they witnessed every night in that House. He had proposed three Amendments: first, that every school should state whether it was intended for all denominations or for one only; second, that a child should be sent to the school of his own denomination, if there was one in the locality; and third, that schools for all denominations should have a code of rules approved by the Secretary of State. These were the securities he asked for the religion of the children; they were refused; if an equivalent was offered he would accept it; but unless some security was given it would be better for the children that they were still in the streets than in these schools. It was because he believed that the moral nature of the children sent to such institutions as that presided over by Dr. Guthrie would be more perverted than it would be if they were left in the streets, that he opposed the present Bill. He did not expect that the Committee would agree with him in that; but he trusted they would at least support his Amendments.


said, he could not consent to the further progress of this Bill at so late an hour, and would take all the means in his power to prevent it which the forms of the House allowed. There had been an undertaking to introduce a clause which would meet the views of the Roman Catholic Members on the subject, but which had never been brought forward, and he therefore gave notice that he would bring up such a clause. He considered the decision the other day a most tyrannous one, and a vote which inspired him with the greatest dread as to the future proceedings of the Government.


said, that seeing it was the intention of hon. Members to obstruct the further progress of the Bill that evening, he would reluctantly consent to postpone the Committee, as he could see no use in attempting at that time to proceed with it.


said, he would warn the House against proceeding with the persecuting system which had recently been commenced, and which they might one day see cause to regret.

House resumed. Committee report progress.

The House adjourned at a quarter after Two o'clock.