§ On the Motion that Mr. SPEAKER leave the chair to go into Committee of Supply,
§ MR. SPOONER
rose to move as an Amendment—That a Select Committee to inquire into the circumstances under which, in the Evidence taken before the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the Management and Government of the College of Maynooth, and reported to Parliament, titles prohibited by law were allowed to be ascribed to Roman Catholic Bishops; and also why, and under what circumstances, some of the witnesses were permitted to make alterations in the evidence which they had given before the Commissioners; and also to inquire into the facts and circumstances connected with the alleged communication to Dr. Cullen of a portion of the evidence, and the use which he made of the information so received, and as to the person by whom the evidence was so furnished, and as to the delay which took place in laying the Report of the Commissioners before the Houses of Parliament.The hon. Member said, that he had stated on a former occasion, that an illegal title had been given to the so-called bishops in Ireland with the concurrence of the noble Lord at the head of the Commission, and that the evidence taken had been sent to Rome before it was laid before that House. The right hon. Secretary for Ireland then partly contradicted that statement, and attempted to controvert the argument. But it was not the fact that there were in this Maynooth Report only two territorial titles. He found in the evidence of the Rev. John O'Hanlon no less than six territorial titles conferred on Roman Catholic bishops, those who were of the Dunboyne establishment. So that the excuse of Dr. Twiss having overlooked two solitary titles in revising the evidence did not hold, for here, in the oral evidence, there were no less than six, and these must have been given in the presence of the Commissioners. He asked the House, would it countenance such open violation of the law? It might be trifling at present; but the time was approaching when it would, in his opinion, be absolutely necessary—if the Government intended to maintain the Protestant constitution of this country—to, take legal 1271 proceedings to put a stop to those illegal assumptions of territorial titles. But suppose such proceedings to be taken, what would be the answer of the Roman Catholic violators of the law? The answer would be, that we ourselves encouraged them by overlooking these assumptions of territorial titles in no less a document than the Report of a Royal Commission of Inquiry. He had received a letter from Dr. Flannagan directly contradicting the assertion of the right hon. Gentleman, who had stated that he was deaf, and saying that he had not found the slightest difficulty in giving his evidence. Another witness, who had formerly been a Roman Catholic priest, said, that he bad been accused of having altered the Report of his evidence, and of having inserted the titles of the Roman Catholic bishops after the evidence was printed. The writer denied having reinserted the name of a bishop which had been scratched out by the Commissioners. When he got his evidence printed in London he found the title of Dr. Day inserted, but not by his act, and he left the title as he found it. There was another question which showed the inaccuracy of the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman said, there were only two witnesses who had their evidence given to them in print. That was not the fact. The evidence was given to a great many witnesses to revise after it was printed. He could prove that the evidence had been given to several witnesses to revise and re-revise. They would find that throughout the Report the evidence had been tampered with. That was according to his information, and he was prepared to go into the proof. There was another point on which the House ought to make inquiry. He had frequently asked when the evidence and Report would be laid before the House. The reply was, that the Report was coming, but no reason was given for the delay in presenting the Report. His case was, that the evidence was printed and sent to Rome fully eleven months before it was placed in the hands of Members of that House. The House ought to inquire, when a Royal Commission was formed, whether it was proper that a delay of eleven months should elapse before the evidence was laid on the table. Dr. Cullen, it was said, had to revise his evidence, but he had looked over the evidence, and could not find Dr. Cullen had been examined at all. Was that a proper reason for delay? 1272 Some influence had been used, which was perfectly well known to certain Gentlemen in that House, as to the Committee. With, respect to the arrangement with the noble Lord as to the Committee, the noble Lord had withdrawn from that arrangement for considerations best known to himself. It was clear there was a sinister influence in that House—an influence most unconstitutional, and which stood in the way of all inquiry, and all proper legislation. It was an influence that he would tell the noble Lord, and the hon. Gentlemen who exercised it, the country would not tolerate, and that if persisted in the country would be roused to demand an alteration.
Amendment proposed, to leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words—
a Select Committee be appointed to inquire into the circumstances under which, in the Evidence taken before the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the Management and Government of the College of Maynooth, and reported to Parliament, titles prohibited by law were allowed to be ascribed to Roman Catholic Bishops; and also why, and under what circumstances, some of the witnesses were permitted to make alterations in the evidence which they had given before the Commissioners; and also to inquire into the facts and circumstances connected with the alleged communication to Dr. Cullen of a portion of the evidence, and the use which he made of the information so received, and as to the person by whom the evidence was so furnished, and as to the delay which took place in laying the Report of the Commissioners before the Houses of Parliament," instead thereof.
§ MR. HORSMAN
said, that as he understood his hon. Friend did not mean to proceed with the proposed inquiry until the next Session, he should not deem it necessary to trespass at any length on the time of the House upon that occasion. On the 21st of May he had offered his hon. Friend a Committee which could fully inquire into all the disputed facts of the case. But his hon. Friend had refused to accept that offer, and if he had not refused it, there could be no doubt but the matter would before the present time have been completely settled. The Commissioners, the secretaries, and the printers were in London, in expectation that the hon. Gentleman would move for a Committee; but he would not do so.
MR. WHITE SIDE
said, he was desired by his hon. Friend (Mr. Spooner) to state that he had never absolutely refused an inquiry, although he had refused the inquiry tendered by the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Ireland.
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
said, he wished to know on what ground the Government could at present refuse an inquiry, after they had on two former occasions acknowledged the propriety of granting it?
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
said, it was true the hon. Member for Warwickshire had spoken to him on the subject, and that he had been induced to think that he could support the Motion which the hon. Member meant to propose. But on further consideration he had altered his opinion, and wrote a note within half an hour after to the hon. Member, telling him that he could not consent to the Motion. His hon. Friend the Secretary for Ireland was still ready to abide by the proposal which he had made.
§ MR. NAPIER
understood that the Government were willing to assent to inquiry, but differed upon the terms. When it came to a matter of terms, there must be some reason for their departure from the arrangement formerly made, and he would like to know what that reason was?
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, the Government were not opposed to all inquiry. The Secretary for Ireland had acceded to inquiry in the terms of an Amendment which he had placed upon the paper, but the hon. Member having made his Motion on going into Committee of Supply the forms of the House did not allow of the Government moving the Amendment of which notice had been given. He understood the hon. Member to say he should renew his Motion next Session, and it seemed to him very objectionable to appoint a Committee now without intending to prosecute the inquiry until next Session.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 76; Noes 97: Majority 21.
|List of the NOES.|
|Adderley, C. B.||Burrowes, R.|
|Alcock, T.||Butt, I.|
|Anderson, Sir J.||Cairns, H. M'C.|
|Baldock, E. H.||Campbell, Sir A. I.|
|Bankes, rt. hon. G.||Child, S.|
|Bateson, T.||Codrington, Sir W.|
|Bell, J.||Cole, hon. H. A.|
|Bentinck, G. W. P.||Corry, rt. hon. H. L.|
|Booker, T. W.||Cowan, C.|
|Brocklehurst, J.||Craufurd, E. H. J.|
|Buck, G. S.||Crossley, F.|
|Davies, J. L.||Mowbray, J. R.|
|Deedes, W.||Mullings J. R.|
|Duncan, G.||Muntz, G. F.|
|Duncombe, hon. W. E.||Naas, Lord|
|Dundas, G.||Napier, rt. hon. J.|
|Egerton, E. C.||Noel, hon. G. J.|
|Farnham, E. B.||Oakes, J. H. P.|
|Fellowes, E.||Ossulston, Lord|
|Fergusson, Sir J.||Pakington, rt. hon. Sir J.|
|Forester, rt. hon. Col.||Palmer, R.|
|Gallwey, Sir W. P.||Pellatt, A.|
|Graham, Lord M. W.||Percy, hon. J. W.|
|Grogan, E.||Phillimore, R. J.|
|Guinness, R. S.||Repton, G. W. J.|
|Gwyn, H.||Sawle, C. B. G.|
|Hamilton, Lord C.||Scobell, Capt.|
|Hamilton, G. A.||Smijth, Sir W.|
|Hastie, Alexander||Stafford, A.|
|Hastie, Archibald||Stanhope, J. B.|
|Henley, rt. hon. J. W.||Stirling, W.|
|Hervey, Lord A.||Stracey, H. J.|
|Horsfall, T. B.||Stuart, W.|
|Jones, Adm.||Sturt, H. G.|
|Kendall, N.||Taylor, Col.|
|Kinnaird, hon. A. F.||Tite, W.|
|Knox, hon. W. S.||Tollemache, J.|
|Langton, H. G.||Tyler, Sir G.|
|Lee, W.||Vance, J.|
|Lockhart, W.||Vyse, Col.|
|Lowther, hon. Col.||Waddington, H. S.|
|Lushington, C. M.||Walcott, Adm.|
|Macartney, G.||Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.|
|MacGregor, Jas.||Whitmore, H.|
|Manners, Lord G.||Wickham, H. W.|
|Maxwell, hon. J. P.||Willoughby, Sir H.|
|Meux, Sir H.||Wyndham, Gen.|
|Michell, W.||Spooner, R.|
|Morris, D.||Whiteside, J.|
§ Words added; Main Question as amended put, and agreed to.
§ Supply Committee deferred till Monday next.
§ The House adjourned at Two o'clock on Monday next.