HC Deb 01 May 1855 vol 137 cc2049-111

* said, that once more be ventured to bring under the attention of the House the important question to which the notice standing in his name had reference. That question he regarded as a most vital one; and he conscientiously believed that a right settlement of it was necessary for the safety of the Crown, for the integrity of the empire, and for the happiness of his fellow-subjects.

Indeed, it was neither more nor less than this—would they maintain inviolate the Protestant constitution which had been so dearly purchased by their ancestors, and under which the country had so many years been blessed; or would they neglect that important duty, the relinquishment of which would be visited with consequences far beyond his power to describe? If they would maintain that constitution, they must look around them, and see where it was in danger, and he believed its greatest danger was to be found in the practice of yielding, with the view of conciliating, to those who never would be conciliated, unless they attained complete and absolute supremacy.

Since he had had the honour of a seat in that House, he had frequently heard it declared that nothing would satisfy the parties to whom he alluded but placing upon the same footing the Roman Catholic Church and the Established Church of England and Ireland. In bringing the present Motion before the House, he was impelled by a resistless sense of the duty which rested upon him, and he felt that he should be betraying the great trust reposed in him by his neighbours and friends who had returned him to that House, if he witnessed, in silence, the arrogant encroachments which were being made upon the constitution, and listened passively to the unveiled declarations that were put forth, by Roman Catholics themselves, as to their objects.

Various objections had been taken to his Motion; and to those objections he would now endeavour to give as plain an answer as he possibly could. The first to which he would advert was the objection as to time—an objection which, if the question were merely a political one, would be worthy of all consideration; but he dealt with the question as a religions question, and had no hesitation in declaring his conviction that the original establishment and continued endowment of Maynooth was a great national sin, and that if it were persisted in we should have no right to expect anything else than the judgment of Almighty God upon us for abandoning our high duties and sacrificing our great privileges. lf, then, it were a sin, the present time was always the time to deal with it, and they were not to permit it to endure a moment longer than they could help; and, viewing it in this light, he felt that no political reasons would be sufficient to justify procrastination in considering this important subject.

The next objection was, that our gallant allies were Roman Catholics, and that we should do nothing that would have the effect of estranging them from us. But he had too much faith in the patriotic principles and generous feelings of our brave and gallant allies to suppose that any jealousy would be excited between the two nations on that score. Moreover, he had heard from a quarter in which he put implicit faith, and to which, if he mentioned it, every Member in the House would pay the most respectful deference, that at this moment there was a strong independent Gallican feeling aroused in France against the ultramontane doctrines which were taught at Maynooth, and which the Pope was endeavouring to enforce in that country. The Archbishop of Paris had at that moment a quarrel with the Pope on the subject of that most monstrous of all impositions—the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. There was as much jealousy in France on the subject of Rome as in England. But he (Mr. Spooner) would not put it on that ground; for he could never believe that our brave and generous allies could be deterred from the object for which they had joined this country by any such consideration.

But he would be told that our own soldiers are Romanists, and he would be asked if he meant to aggravate their feelings. His answer was, no. They were Roman Catholics, it was true, but they were also sound, good, loyal subjects, and if they were once abstracted from the dominion of their priests—once set free from the superstitious influences which beset them— he believed they would rejoice in their liberation as much as the Protestant people of England. They were actuated by true principles, and not even for a moment would he suspect that they could be swayed from their duty by such considerations as these. But there was another view of the case arising out of this. What was meant by not touching Maynooth for the present, while the Roman Catholic soldiers were fighting the battles of their country? Was it meant that it should be touched when that fighting was over? It meant that, or it meant nothing. If, however, that was its meaning, how could such a mode of dealing with these soldiers be tolerated? Was it not to act with the utmost deceit? Surely it would be wrong to conceal your intentions until the fighting was over, and then to carry them out. The House should tell them that, as Protestants, they could not conscientiously consent to support any longer an institution which taught an idolatrous religion.


rose to order. Mr. Speaker had, if he was not mistaken, laid it down as a rule that expressions of- fensive to the religious feelings of the Members should not be used. The word idolatrous was highly offensive. He (Mr. Fagan) therefore put it to Mr. Speaker whether it ought to be used?


said, it was the practice, on all occasions, that expressions offensive to the religious opinion of any great body of the Members of that House were not desirable, as they were calculated to hurt their feelings.


submitted to the decision of Mr. Speaker. He had no wish to irritate any man's feelings; but he might be permitted to say that the word was to be found in the Formula of the Church, as applied to the celebration of the mass, and that the doctrine of masses was stigmatised as one of "blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits."

The next objection that was made to his Motion was, that it would be a breach of faith to withdraw the grant from Maynooth; that a compact had been made, that an institution had been established, and that the Legislature had no business to touch it. He denied the compact, however, and he maintained that there was nothing to bind the House to continue the grant. It was, in fact, a free grant—a grant given by the liberality of this country, and no sacrifice had been made by the Roman Catholics which would render it of the nature of a compact. What Parliament granted freely, therefore, Parliament was free to resume, as the grant had not been made for any consideration. On this point he (Mr. Spooner) was quite of opinion with one whose memory was still highly respected in that House, and whose words still were received as authority—he meant the late Sir Robert Peel. On the 3rd of April, 1845, what said Sir Robert Peel? He said— It is, I trust, conceived in the spirit to which I have referred, a liberal and confiding spirit. We have not introduced it without communication with the leading ecclesiastical authorities in the Roman Catholic Church. It has not been a subject of stipulation or contract with them. We have intimated to them our intention; and we have every reason to believe that they are satisfied with, and grateful for, the measure; that they will strongly recommend its acceptance; and that the great body of the intelligence and respectability of the Roman Catholic community will accept the measure as a liberal and efficient maintenance for the establishment at Maynooth. —[3 Hansard, lxxix. p. 37.] That was the declaration of the right hon. Gentleman who made the concession—those were the consequences which that right hon. Gentleman hoped would follow. He asked any noon who had ever held office under Her Majesty since that grant was made—any man who had had anything to do with the elections in Ireland—whether these expectations had been realised? If, then, the object for which the grant was given had failed—if the grant had been received in a spirit different from what had been expected—if the conduct of the recipients had been the reverse of that which it was intended should be promoted—did not the whole ground of that objection to his Motion fall away? But, besides this declaration of Sir Robert Peel, there was a declaration of the noble Lord the Minister for the Colonies, which was equally specific on this point. On the 3rd of April, 1845, the noble Lord said, in the debate on the subject— I do not mean to argue, as has been done by other hon. Gentlemen, the question of compact, or whether it would be wise or prudent after fifty years, during which this grant has been made, to stop suddenly, and to declare that you will advance no further sums from the public purse for the purpose of educating the priests of the Roman Catholic religion. But, at the same time, I will say that if you found you were doing that which was mischievous to the community, and that the religious scruples of the community would not allow of the continuance of this grant, or, with reference to civil and political reasons, you found that those you meant to be the teachers of religion had become the leaders and conductors of rebellion—if, I say, you found for any of these causes that there was ground sufficient to refuse this grant—then I can see no valid reason why any compact should restrain you, or why, upon strong grounds of this kind, the House would not be justified in declaring that it would give no further allowance."—[3 Hansard, lxxix. p. 91.] Leaders of rebellion. Disturbers of the public peace. These were the words of the noble Lord. Were they borne out by the conduct of the parties? If the records of the Irish elections were looked to, it would be seen what steps had been taken to ensure the success of the Roman Catholic candidates. And he (Mr. Spooner) would show that the doctrine taught in Maynooth fully squared with that conduct. He could show that two professors of that College had declared that it might be a mortal sin to vote for the wrong man; and the people of England were paying for the propagation of such pernicious principles. Every one of the cases contemplated by the noble Lord had, consequently, occurred; and he (Mr. Spooner) therefore claimed the support of the noble Lord for his Motion, as well as he did the authority of Sir Robert Peel. The deep-seated feeling of the people of England also called for a repeal of the grant. That was one of the grounds set forth by the noble Lord. He (Mr. Spooner) appealed, however, to hon. Gentlemen whether the communications from their constituents were not a universal and strong expression of their opinions on the subject of Maynooth? Surely, then, he might safely say with the noble Lord that if the religious scruples, as the noble Lord designated them—the religious principles, as he (Mr. Spooner) should designate them, of the constituency were thus outraged, the Legislature was bound to act accordingly.

He (Mr. Spooner) now came to the consideration of the Report of the Commissioners. He would observe that he had performed a task which he believed few other hon. Members had done, having diligently waded through this document, and called in the aid of most valuable assistance to enable him to digest the evidence that had been taken and to get at the real truth of the Report, so that he might place it more clearly and concisely before the house than be otherwise could have done. A careful examination would show that this Report was in great part a complete sham and deceit. When he first made his charges respecting Maynooth no one denied them; and the next year, being convinced of their truth, he declined a proposition of the noble Lord opposite to appoint a Commission, on the ground that the inquiry would be defeated by the Jesuitry of the College. These views were fully borne out by the Report. In the first place there occurred that most unwarrantable proceeding which the noble Lord at the head of the Government admitted to be a fact, namely, that the evidence taken before Her Majesty's Commission was sent by Dr. Cullen to Rome without Her Majesty's consent, and without the knowledge of some of the Commissioners; and that the document remained in Rome for several weeks, if not months. This happened while Parliament and the country were anxiously awaiting the result of the inquiry—whilst the evidence was being "cooked" with the view of making things pleasant. The proceeding was most unconstitutional, involving a breach of the Royal confidence, an insult to the Crown and to that House, and a trifling with the feelings of the people; and in other times impeachment would have followed such a traitorous transaction. It was clear, on the face of the evidence, that it had been altered without the consent of all the Commissioners. The evidence must have been altered without the consent of the Commissioners. Was the noble Lord at the head of the Government aware that in the return of the bishops educated at Maynooth, made by the officer of the College, and published in the Appendix to the Report, the full territorial titles were given to a Roman Catholic as "Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland," and to Dr. Cullen as "Apostolic Delegate" of the Pope, both of which designations were in open defiance of the Act of Parliament passed by the noble Lord, and of the ancient laws of the realm? The law had thus been trampled upon, apparently with the sanction of the Commissioners, but the sanction was only apparent, because he was authorised by Lord Harrowby, the highly-respected Chairman, to say, that these territorial titles did not appear in the return when given in evidence before them. How they found their way there it was not for him (Mr. Spooner) to say; but it was the duty of the Government to investigate the matter, and to bring the offenders to justice; and if they failed to do so, it was to be hoped that the House itself would insist on a searching inquiry.

The return in question was made by the President of the College, and appeared in page 133 of the Report (Appendix). One of the objectionable titles it contained was this— "Province of Leinster, the Most Rev. Paul Cullen, Apostolic Delegate." Now the law of England recognised no such person as an apostolic delegate, and the law officers of the Crown, if they had done their duty, would not have suffered the individual assuming such a title to remain in the country. Another name given in the same return was this—"His Grace the Most Rev. Joseph Dixon, Archbishop of Armagh, and Primate of all Ireland." It was to be regretted that, owing to a defect in the Act, the person who ascribed illegal titles to another was not equally punishable with the individual assuming them; but be confidently asked the Attorney General for Ireland whether, as this return was made by the authorised officer of the College, who was under the control of these Roman Catholic ecclesiastics, who were its principals and trustees, those ecclesiastics were not as responsible for the act of their agent as if they had themselves personally assumed these illegal titles? The Rev. John O'Hanlon, in his second examination, mentioned, in answer to a question put to him, the name of "Dr. Dixon, Archbishop of Armagh," giving in this instance again the prohibited territorial title. Should any prosecution be instituted under the Ecclesiastical Titles Act, or against any aggression of the Church of Rome upon the Church of England, would not this evidence be quoted as conclusively proving that we had admitted these Roman Catholic Bishops to the full enjoyment of the privileges they had arrogated to themselves? Would it not be said by them that a Royal Commission had given them those titles, that this House had accepted them, and had, by accepting them, given their sanction to such titles? Lord Harrowby had told them that he was perfectly sure these titles could not have been introduced into the evidence with the knowledge of the learned Dr. Twiss, for he said they were both exceedingly particular in guarding against any breach of the law. Well, then, it would rest with the right hon. Speaker and the noble Lord opposite, whether they would sit contentedly by, and suffer this grave breach of the law, giving it their sanction by allowing this illegal document to lie as an uncontradicted report among the records of Parliament. That was the case as regarded these titles.

He would now refer to a very important communication, the original of which was an anonymous one, but the communicator of which, though unknown to him, was well known to highly respectable persons in Dublin. There came into his possession, unsought for by him, some pages of the proof sheets of two of the witnesses' evidence, which had in some way or other got out of the possession of those who had them to correct.

He had therefore seen the alterations which had been made, not the first revision, not the revision of the short-hand writer's notes only, but in a revision of the revise. It was known and admitted that this evidence was in the hands of the persons who gave it for weeks and for months together, and during that time consultations were held, the evidence was reviewed, and the result had been such as he would allude to more particularly by and bye. He would first put it to any man at all accustomed to examine evidence, whether the course taken by the Commission was one calculated to elicit the truth. Their first step was to send out written queries and ask for written answers (relating to the particular doctrines and principles impugned), thus giving the different professors an opportunity of uniting to give such evidence as would suit their opinions; in other words, laying the foundation for a conspiracy, which conspiracy no man used to evidence, and who had examined these books, could say had not been most ingeniously and completely carried out. Then, again, Lord Harrowby was all along known to have been an advocate and approver of the present College, and no Commissioner was sent there whose opinions were not known to be in favour of Maynooth. Undoubtedly, Lord Harrowby was not a man to allow himself to be influenced by his own opinions in such a case, but he (Mr. Spooner) thought some one ought to have been sent with his Lordship who was opposed to Maynooth. Dr. Twiss, he believed, was similarly inclined with the Earl of Harrowby, though no doubt as worthy of confidence as his Lordship. He did say, however, that, remembering the constitution of the Commission, appointed as it was by a Government known to be favourable to this endowment, there was strong ground for suspicion.

He quoted its Report now, without any confidence in it, though, bad as it was, there was enough in it to show that the teaching of Maynooth was the same as it was when he first brought it before the House; that certainly there was me amelioration about it, but that, if anything, it was rather worse than before, and that Ultramontane doctrines were on the increase. The truth of the statement above referred to was strongly corroborated by communications made to him by Lord Harrowby before alluded to, namely, that alterations had been made in the evidence, that the full territorial titles had been given without his knowledge.

In the transcript of the short-hand writer's notes the Roman Catholic Bishops were only designated by their legal titles as bishops. The gentleman to whom he had referred said, he could prove on oath, at the bar of that House, that the ordinary permission given to witnesses to correct their evidence was far exceeded, and "that the evidence was so materially altered in many points as to destroy the spirit as well as the letter of both question and answer." He (Mr. Spooner) had seen some original questions and answers referred to, and this was a perfectly accurate description of what had taken place. [The hon. Mem- bee here held up the Report, on the first pages of which the evidence was seen as corrected and restored to its original condition at the time it was given, and exhibited a most unprecedented instance of mutilation and alteration, which created much sensation in the House.] His informant said, referring to another part of the evidence which had not come into his (Mr. Spooner's) hands— To a question respecting the turbulent conduct of certain students at Maynooth during political excitement, the original reply was this—That such conduct was scarcely to be wondered at when it was discovered that very many of those students were sent from dioceses such as that of Dr. M'Hale, and the students imagined that such ebullitions were tolerable because they were in unison with the avowed principles of their patrons." "This answer appeared its the shorthand writer's notes, but both the question and answer were erased, and marked 'irrelevant.' He asked hon. Members, knowing the way in which the Chairman of a Parliamentary Committee would keep the Report in the strict sense and meaning of the evidence, whether it was likely that a chairman would have ordered or sanctioned such alterations? There was another instance in which nine questions put to the Rev. Mr. Flannagan, the secretary to the trustees, which appeared in the short-hand writer's notes, were compressed into one question and answer in the Report. This was the evidence originally given—nine original questions and answers are compressed into this one—twenty-eight lines into twelve—also, the original oral evidence had eighty questions and answers, while the "doctored" edition had only twenty-two. The following is the true evidence:— 65.—There appears upon the minutes, proposals for the purchase of different volumes. At whose instance were those proposals made?—The proposals are sent in, either through one of the members of the board, or through me, and I lay them before the board. 66.—Do they come from the principal, or the council, or from whom?—From the person who wants to get a book purchased. 67.—the minutes there is this entry made—'Ordered, that fifty copies of the Rev. Dr. Donavan's work should be purchased for the College (at 50s. each, equal to 125l.)' At whose instance would that have been?—The communication came through me—it was sustained by two or three of the trustees, 68.—Who put you in motion?—The author—if it is to be recommended. I am not prepared to say that those books are bought for premiums; some of them are given as premiums, some are sold, and some are given out for the use of the College. 69.—Some years ago was there not a great loss in the purchase of a large number of breviaries?—I am not aware of that. 70.—A breviary got up by Coyne, 'Coyne's Diurnal,' 1,000 copies, to be purchased at 3s.? (150l.)—(Answer.) These would of course be required. [Why, and by whom?] 71.—'200 copies of Dr. Miley's book on the Papal States'—would that be at the solicitation of Dr. Miley himself, or at the instance of the principal?—The communication came from him, not through me, but through some of the bishops. 72.—'200 copies of Cambrensis Eversus.' At whose instance was that? (1l. each, equal to 200l.)—I think it was the president that brought forward that Cambrensis. It should be taken into account that the trustees themselves have been for the most part either Dunboyne students or professors, and therefore they know of their knowledge what would be most useful for the College. There is no compliment for the author ever considered," (this seems a gratuitous remark,) "and there is no specific use mentioned when the books are purchased. It may be said— this will be a very good book for the boys' premiums,' 'this will be a very good book for the library,' or this will be a very good book for the students.' 73.—They are bought at the trade price, are they not?—Yes. This, which he would now read, was the doctored false edition.—Report, Part II., page 2, No. 21— In the minutes furnished by you to the Commissioners there are orders for the purchase of a considerable number of copies of certain books, namely, 50 copies of Dr. Donovan's work; 200 of Dr. Miley's work on the Papal States; 200 copies of Cambrensis Eversus, and 1,000 copies of Coyne's Diurnal, &c. &.c." (No mention of breviaries here.) "From whom did these proposals come, and for what purpose were they purchased?—The proposals came either from the authors, the translators, the editors, printers, or proprietors of the books. They were uniformly addressed to the trustees, through the secretary or one of the trustees; and though the orders of the trustees to the bursar were simply 'to purchase so many copies of such a work for the College at the trade price, or at some fixed price,' I can answer that they were purchased for premiums, for sale, or for the use of the students in the library—such purposes being stated at the board when the question of purchasing was discussed. This evidence was garbled in order to hide a job which was to put money into the pockets of the booksellers. This, in the original evidence, was too open, and therefore the questions and answers were compressed into one. This was, perhaps, not a matter of great importance, but what confidence could they place in evidence which had been so dealt with? The correspondent he had alluded to also wrote that, "with regard to the titles of the bishops, both in the transcript copy and in the second and third revised proofs, they appeared in the simple garb prescribed by law, but that afterwards they were entirely altered," and that, "the minutes would be burthened with the assumed and high-sounding titles peculiar to the Romish bishops." Lord Harrowby had told him that some of the proofs of the evidence were sent for, time after time, and answers were returned that they were sent to this place and then to somewhere else, and that more time was wished for, so that it was delayed so long that they were obliged to leave the final arrangements for the printer with the secretaries.

It would appear that one of the Roman Catholic Commissioners had communicated, through Dr. Cullen, with Rome, and the only inference that he (Mr. Spooner) could draw from this was, that one of the Roman Catholic secretaries had communicated with the corrector of this evidence. He thought that this demanded inquiry, and asked the House whether they would suffer this evidence to remain uninvestigated, and sanctioned by the acceptance and adoption of this House? Would they not adopt an inquiry in order to see whether this was correct or not, and to see who it was that had presumed to send evidence to Dr. Cullen, through whom it was laid before the Pope? He remembered that when he asked the noble Lord at the head of the Government which of the Commissioners had sent the Report to Dr. Cullen, the noble Lord answered, "Of course one of the Roman Catholic Commissioners." It was nothing more than justice to say that this was unknown to Lord Harrowby, Dr. Twiss, or, as he was told, to Baron Pigot. It must therefore be the other Commissioner, Mr. O'Ferrall, who had done this; and the hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Ireland was not worthy of his office if he did not institute some legal inquiry into this matter. If an inquiry into the matter were not instituted, the Commission would be deemed a farce and a disgrace.

It had been a work of great labour to arrive at the facts, with so much Jesuitry were they concealed, and he should have been unable to go through with it had he not been assisted by those who were accustomed to deal with such subjects. He had, in 1852, made a statement with regard to the books taught at Maynooth, and he had since renewed that statement, which now remained entirely unanswered and uncontroverted. They had not dared to deny the existence of the books to which he had referred, but they said they used them merely as class books, although the students had free access to them. But they were the books upon which lectures were grounded, and were therefore in fact used for the purposes of teaching. One of the most celebrated of the books (Liguori's Moral Theology), which was highly recommended by the dignitaries of the Church, contained the doctrine that equivocation in a good cause was justifiable. Dr. Wiseman had pronounced the author of this book to be one of the most celebrated—perhaps the most celebrated—of the casuists of the Roman Catholic Church. Another very high authority mentioned in the evidence as a book of first-rate reference upon Canon Law—Reiffenstuel—vouched for by Dr. Murray, a professor at Maynooth, as "the most celebrated of the Canonists," lays down this doctrine, lib. v. tit. 7, num. 313— He who owes anything to a heretic by means of purchase, promise, exchange, pledge, deposit, loan, or any other contract, is, ipso jure, by the law itself, free from the obligation, and is not bound to keep his promise, bargain, or contract, or his plighted faith, even though sworn, to a heretic. This was a Maynooth book of reference, and these were its commercial morals! It would require much more evidence than had been adduced, to convince him that those who used the class book in which such an opinion was pronounced had taken any pains to counteract the evil which it was calculated to produce.

He now came to a subject which he always approached with great reluctance—namely, the confessional—and he would take the opportunity of saying that he knew nothing about the disgusting and horrible publication upon that subject which had been sent to every Member of the House. When he received it he applied to the Protestant Association and the Protestant Alliance—the two Societies which took a deep interest in this question—to ascertain whether any of their servants or agents had dared to insult the House by the publication of such a disgusting statement. Neither of those Societies knew anything about the pamphlet, and he had not the shadow of a suspicion as to who was the author, although pains had been taken to discover him. He had, however, with the friends to whom he had alluded, who were competent scholars, compared the details contained in the pamphlet with the books from which they purported to be taken, and he found that they had been accurately quoted. He asked the House whether they were justified in calling upon the people of this country to contribute their money in order to circulate books which contained the disgusting details mentioned in that pamphlet? And this most important moral might be justly founded upon this circumstance—that if the private reading of the filth contained in those books was disgusting, they ought so much the more to revolt at the practice of contributing from the funds of this Protestant nation to teach such pestiferous and polluting matter. One of the highest authorities upon the subject of the confessional was Liguori, who said, vol. i. lib, iv. tr. 4, No. 634— This seal" (of confession) "is an obligation of Divine Law, most strict in every case, even where the safety of a whole kingdom should be imperilled, to conceal, even after the death of the penitent, all those things that have been spoken in confession" (that is, in order to sacramental absolution)," a disclosure of which would render the sacrament irksome or odious. This was a book which, above all others, was relied upon by the best authorities of the Roman Church, and given to the study of young men; but was it a book that ought to receive the sanction and approval of the Legislature of this country? He felt assured that the whole nation did join in thanksgiving at the providential escape of our august Ally the Emperor of the French from the recent attempt that had been made upon his life; but suppose that the intended assassin had confessed to the priest that he purposed committing the crime he had attempted to perpetrate, the confessor, on the authority of this highly recommended book, dared not have divulged the premeditated crime, because the seal of the confessional was held to be inviolable. In another part of the work, the reason given why the priest must not disclose a fact made known to him in the confessional, was, "because he knows it, not as a man, but as God."—Ib. No. 646. In fact, it was held that the priest stood in the confessional in the place and character of God—oh! the blasphemy of such a statement!—to hear the confessions and outpourings of the heart of the sinner.

Regarding elections: in reading the evidence given before the Commissioners, it would be found that almost every professor began by stating that the Pope had no power to interfere with anything temporal, and that, generally speaking, the elections were temporal matters; but, in a most Jesuitical manner, the question was then met by stating that there might be occasions when it would become a mortal sin to vote for a wrong candidate; that it was the duty of the elector to consult the benefit of the Church; that, in certain cases, their temporality became swallowed up in their spirituality, and that in such cases the priests were not only authorised, but obligated, to influence the elector in giving his vote.

Dr. O'Hanlon, in his evidence before the Commissioners, No. 148, admitted that the distinction between temporal and spiritual affairs was sometimes "a very nice one, and was no doubt a troublesome question," and that there were some matters which were not necessarily either of a purely spiritual or a purely temporal nature. The same witness acknowledged that every vote for a Member of Parliament was a temporal matter, its immediate end or object being to invest a man with a trust or privilege to be exercised to some extent or other for the worldly benefit of the people; but he then proceeded to state that a vote might also become a spiritual matter, because its direct mid immediate effect might sometimes be the commission or avoidance of sin. Further on in his evidence, Dr. O'Hanlon stated that the priest was not competent to inflict any censure of the Church, yet "absolutely speaking, he would be warranted in withholding any sacraments of the Church from a man by reason of his preferring one candidate to another, because a priest is not only warranted, but bound, to withhold the sacraments from a man who is disposed to commit a mortal sin." In the case of simple and ignorant people, who, the witness said, were a very numerous class in Ireland, it was said to be necessary that some intelligent person should prescribe the course they ought to pursue, because they were utterly incompetent of themselves to form any rational or decided judgment on the matter; and that the most likely man was the priest. Thus, it would be seen that the latter part of the evidence of Dr. O'Hanlon entirely contradicted the former part, wherein he stated that the Pope had no right whatever to interfere in elections. If the charges which had been made in newspapers and other publications in this country against Roman Catholic priests had been falsely preferred against any clergyman in this country, he ventured to say that on the first day of term an application would have been made by the person accused for a criminal information against his slanderers. Could it be supposed for a moment that any well-educated, honest priests, against whom such charges were made falsely, would submit to them if they were innocent?

With regard to the subject of oaths and equivocation, he found in Liguori (lib. iii. tr. 2, No. 154,) the following passage— These things being established, it is a certain and common opinion among all divines, that for a just cause it is lawful to use equivocation in the propounded modes, and to confirm it with an oath. Liguori's definition of a just cause was— "But a just cause is any honest cud, in order to preserve good things for the spirit, or useful things for the body." How was it possible to live in society with any security upon such terms as these?

He would now ask the attention of the House to the subject of the rejection by the Roman Catholic authorities of the works of Bailly. The Commissioners reported— "The works of Bailly having been placed in the Index of prohibited books at Rome, the trustees of Maynooth at their next meeting directed them to be discontinued in the College." The Rev. J. O'Hanlon, who was examined before the Commission, in reply to the question whether he knew why Bailly had been condemned, and why his works were placed in the Index, said— I have no official or positive knowledge why he was condemned; but, if it be necessary to give an opinion on the subject, I should say that he was condemned because he was a decided Gallican. (Appendix No. 1.) It is perfectly certain that the Gallican doctrines, at least to their full extent, are not acceptable to the Pope. Besides, Bailly has advanced a doctrine on the subject of marriage, which is also distasteful in Rome." "Bailly maintains the separability of the contract of marriage from the sacrament, contending that marriage among Christians may exist as a valid contract without being a sacrament. The present Pontiff, in his Allocution to the Cardinals, September, 1852, in reference, I think, to some disputes which were at the time disturbing some of the South American Churches (with the Archbishop of Lima), has formally laid down that no marriage among Christians can be valid unless it be a sacrament. Bailly and the French theologians generally maintain a different opinion; and this may be one of the reasons, if not the principal one, why Bailly was disapproved of by the Pope, and placed in the Index."—Report, pt. 2, p. 5, No. 8. The fact was that Bailly opposed the doctrines of the Ultramontane party with respect to marriage, and maintained that marriage among Christians might exist as a valid contract, without being a sacrament. Dr. O'Hanlon was asked whether it would be considered as a matter of course that any book put in the Index was not to be used in any Roman Catholic College, and he stated that the Index was not received, and therefore imposed no obligation in Ireland, adding, "but, as clergymen belonging to an ecclesiastical institution, we feel ourselves constrained to defer to the express wishes of the Pope," and that it would be "unbecoming to continue a book which the Pope had disapproved." And again— "The placing such a book as Bailly in the Index in the time of Louis XIV. I am sure would not have displaced it in the French Universities." [Who, it seems, were before the British as to constitutional independence.] What, then, became of the declarations that Papal Rescripts, Allocutions, and Bulls were not legally binding? What became of the declaration that the Pope exercised no influence over Maynooth College? He would ask that House, were they disposed to truckle to the Pope? What did it all amount to, but that this country was absolutely contributing its money to support the teaching of doctrines under the guidance and direction of the Pope, who, it was clear, had the control of all the books used in the College of Maynooth for the purposes of education, and whose authority every priest was bound in conscience to obey? One of the professors, Dr. Crolly (p. 29, part ii.), had stated this matter clearly enough, thus— I repeat, if the Pope issue any commands on the subject of education, it is the duty of the subject to obey. If the Pope had not control of education he might as well give up ruling the Church altogether. He could produce many other extracts with regard to these books, but he hoped he had said enough to induce hon. Members to read them. He was afraid Ministers had no time to make themselves thoroughly acquainted with them. The book of Bailly had been rejected because it maintained that a marriage was valid without being a sacrament. The Ultramontane doctrine, the opposite of that, was, that every marriage, to be valid, must be a sacrament. Let them suppose the consequences of applying such a doctrine to civil succession and other matters connected with marriage in this country. Let them recollect the large body of priests who had been educated, under the influence of the Pope, at Maynooth, and the results that would follow if they were unhappily to succeed in embuing the population of this country with the Ultramontane doctrine in question. What had happened once might happen again. Questions of succession might arise with regard to the Crown; and as the doctrine of the Church of Rome was, that every marriage, to be valid, must be a sacrament, an inference might be drawn that there was no legitimate marriage of the Sovereign, and therefore, no legitimate succession. He called upon them to stop the support given to a clergy who bowed to the Pope's decrees, and who were found by the evidence—garbled and cooked as it was—to acknowledge the express wish of the Pope as a command with regard to the education in the College of Maynooth. It was by their means, under their patronage, that such anti-national views and wishes were carried out.

He asked them to put an end to such a system. He asked to be allowed to bring in a Bill to withdraw the national consent and support from a College positively and directly under the influence of the Pope, and which thinks itself bound to obey his wish so far as to afford only that education which he in his wisdom might think fit. The Bill which he proposed to bring in had been most carefully considered. It would provide that out of the present grant the students at the College at the time of the passing of the Bill should continue to receive their allowance up to the conclusion of the period of their residence—that was to say, till eight years from the dates at which they had respectively entered the College. It was also but just that the professors employed in teaching the students should have their allowances continued to them during that period. He thought it was only fair—however opposed the whole system might be to their consciences—that they should not leave those young students who had entered Maynooth, to become the victims of the national sin which this country had been guilty of in endowing the College. That burthen, that moral wickedness, they must take on themselves. With the exception mentioned, he should propose to abolish all support to Maynooth, so that it might no longer be an incorporated body, or have the national sanction of a corporation. He proposed that the members of the present corporation should be constituted trustees, and that they should have full power as trustees to deal with all their property in the same way that they might have done before the Act of 1815. The passing of the Bill would be a national abjuration of the principle upon which Maynooth had been founded—a declaration that they were wrong, and that they had committed a great national sin, while, at the same time, it would provide for the completion of the education of those young men who had entered the College trusting to the promises of the Legislature.

He entreated the House to consider the great national responsibility which had fallen upon them.

They had called upon the Sovereign to take an oath to maintain the constitution of Church and State as by law established. They had taken a solemn oath of allegiance to the Sovereign, the meaning of which was, that they were bound to uphold the Sovereign in maintaining the constitution as established by law. In making an appeal to the Dissenters, he could assure them that, if anything more was wanting to perfect religious toleration, no one would more willingly consent to it than he would. He asked them to consider their own fate if Papal Rome should obtain its supremacy. They would do well to recollect the old fable of the lion and the ass, and not to flatter themselves that they would enjoy in that event even the ass's privilege which was to be devoured last. If they destroyed the Church of England they would destroy the very bulwark of their own toleration, and would speedily become the victims themselves. Among Roman Catholics there were, he believed, many sincere Christians, who, through the forms and ceremonies of that Church, really worshipped the Saviour, notwithstanding the erroneous character of the forms themselves, and in appealing to them he did so with confidence, though deploring their mistaken opinions in religious matters. It was his lot to reside in Worcestershire, in the immediate neighbourhood of some Roman Catholic families of the highest respectability. He believed that most of them had never investigated the pernicious doctrines which were taught in the books in question at Maynooth. He knew that they were good neighbours, impartial magistrates, liberal dispensers of charity, and he acquitted them altogether of the least intention of being in any way guided by doctrines such as those to which he had referred, and which, notwithstanding the cheer of the hon. Member well versed in all the trickery of the system, he repeated, were taught at Maynooth.

He begged the House to consider the working of Sir Robert Peel's Act. Had it conciliated Ireland? Were they not on their knees to the priest? Had they not heard the very name of toleration denounced as an insult? Had not every concession been followed by fresh demands? In spite of the oath not to disturb the existing state of property of the Established Church, Roman Catholics in that House and on the hustings, in terms not to be mistaken, had declared that they would not rest satisfied till they enjoyed equality with the Established Church in Ireland. [Cries of "Name!"] He had repeatedly heard such a declaration from the benches on the other side; and when last he alluded to it he was met by assenting cheers from two or three Members on the other side. They cheered his assertion that they had declared that they never would be content till they were on an equality with the Protestant Establishment. Would not that be a disturbance of those relations of the Church which, by their oath, they were bound to respect? The lesson to be learnt from the past was, that the more they conceded to Roman Catholics the more they required; the more you gave them the more haughty were their demands; and that they would never cease their efforts, till this country should cease to be that which was its glory and pride—a Protestant country with a Protestant Sovereign, with a Protestant Church established by law, and with Protestant Dissenters freely tolerated and in the full enjoyment of all civil rights and privileges. He hoped he had said nothing to hurt the feelings of any one. His only aim in what he had said with respect to those who differed from him in their religious creed was, that he might be the happy instrument of opening their eyes by leading them to see the errors and delusions under which they had so long laboured.

In conclusion, he would say that he could hardly expect many more opportunities of addressing the House on this subject. He had come to that age when he was no longer actuated by ambition— at least, by any other ambition than that of conscientiously discharging his duty to God and to his country; and it was his earnest prayer, as an old man, contemplating, perhaps more closely and more intensely than he ever had done, the realities of eternity, that the House and the country might, in time, see the full extent of the responsibility which pressed upon them in relation to this question. He looked upon the support of the Roman Catholic religion as a national sin. Let Bible readers examine the Holy Word of God, and see how that religion was denounced as a high crime against Almighty God, and how the finger of Providence was pointed against it. He trembled when he looked at the precipice on which his country stood, and it would be to him a source of inward comfort and satisfaction in the nearer view of that change which awaited him if he could see the prospect of an arrest being put on the progress of Popery, and a way opened for the advancement of true religion. He could not apologise for having so long detained the House, for he felt he had only performed a most bounden duty in so doing, but he did most sincerely thank the House for its very kind attention to his observations.


rose to second the Motion. He did so, he said, without the slightest hesitation, but not without some regret as to the position of antagonism to his Irish friends in which his sense of duty placed him. He could say for himself, and those who thought with him, that they found themselves opposed to these friends with regret; but they were actuated by no desire to deny them their just rights and legitimate influence. If they looked back to the time when the struggle for emancipation commenced, it would be found that, while in no part of the United Kingdom was the Roman Catholic religion more strongly opposed than in Scotland, no where was a more hearty and generous support given to the just claims of the Roman Catholics; and he believed that in Scotland still, if any attempt were made to deprive them of their civil privileges, the people would stand forward, as before, and maintain their right to the most perfect equality in every respect with their Protestant fellow-citizens. Speaking for those who agreed with him in these matters, he would say that they sought to deprive the Roman Catholics of nothing which they asked for themselves. They desired no endowment for their non-established communions. In Ireland they desired to maintain no body superior to another in reference to endowments; and last year they felt compelled, by a sense of justice, to vote against the continuance of the Regium Donum in Ireland, affecting deeply though it did their Presbyterian brethren in that country. Their friends on the other side, With whom they co-operated on this question, knew that they had no desire to maintain the Established Church of Ireland, and that they looked upon the abolition of the endowment of Maynooth as a step towards the overthrow of that establishment. The operation of the system under which Maynooth was endowed acted injuriously upon our rulers themselves. They had never yet seen a Ministry who had resolved to maintain their power solely by doing that which they believed to be just and right, and most conducive to the interests of the people at large. Formerly Governments courted the great borough proprietors. Since the passing of the Reform Bill they had applied themselves to obtain the support of some one class or another in the State, and, in following out that principle, they desired, above all things, to have religious bodies subject to their influence, which must be alike injurious to the governors and the governed. The endowment or Maynooth was in itself in defensible upon any ground; but as his hon. Friend the Member for North Warwick (Mr. Spooner) had considered the question principally in a religious point of view, he should, in the observations he had to make, address himself to its social and political bearing. There were various reasons why he objected to this grant. In the first place, its continuance maintained a constant danger of the endowment of the Romish clergy, and consequently of all denominations, without regard to truth or error, a system Which would thus be fatal to the freedom which he thought ought to be maintained in religious matters generally. Then, setting aside for a moment the main proposition that this endowment was indefensible, as being paid for the purpose of preparing men to teach that which was contrary to the truth, he maintained that, in a social and political light, it exercised a very injurious influence. It had been the great desire of the educational reformers of this country to bring the people to adopt one system of united instruction. The efforts which had been made in that direction in Ireland, however, had been strenuously resisted by the clergymen of the Roman Catholic Church, and that they were likely to continue in the same course of obstruction was manifestly proved by the evidence which had been laid before the Commission. Professor O'Hanlon, in his evidence, had stated that when the Pope issued his commands with reference to discountenancing a particular plan of education, he had a perfect right to obedience, inasmuch as such obedience was no sin; and "that if the Pope had not the power of controlling education he might as well give up ruling the Church altogether." Now, he (Mr. Dunlop) should ask, what must the fate of education in Ireland be when committed to the direct influence of the author of the "Index"? But let the House look at the question in a political point of view. Maynooth was a seminary for the training up of priests, whose duty, as it appeared from the evidence taken before the Commission, it was not only to advise a member of the laity with respect to the vote which he should give at an election, but to debar him from the sacraments if such advice were neglected. It had been asked by the Commissioners whether a priest might impose upon any individual the obligation of voting contrary to his own judgment, and the answer had been that if the judgment of the individual were a rational one he could not, otherwise the priest might insist upon his acting in opposition to that judgment. It had also been stated that in the case of simple and ignorant people—a very numerous class in Ireland—it was in the opinion of the professor who had given the testimony, not only the privilege but the bounden duty of the Roman Catholic priest to prescribe to him the course which he ought to pursue with respect to voting for any particular candidate at an election, and that it was the duty of such individual to follow that advice. In the evidence of Dr. Moriarty, in answer to the question— Are there no circumstances under which the Pope could release a citizen from his oath of allegiance? The reply was— Most emphatically I say, none. But as our greatest constitutional lawyers, and, as I think, our best theologians, hold that there are cases when the allegiance of the subject ceases, and when the Government of a country may be justly overthrown, I consider that the Pope is the fittest authority to decide in many cases whether such circumstances have arisen; in many cases he could not decide, and I firmly believe that in such cases he would not undertake to do so. In no case can he cause the allegiance of a subject to cease; his power in such a matter being simply declaratory, not enabling. The Pope could not make the allegiance to cease, but he could declare when circumstances existed which in themselves brought the allegiance to an end. All depended upon the value of the declaratory judgment of the Pope, and with reference to that question the answer was— Were we to consult the Holy See upon our allegiance or obedience to our temporal Sovereign, and that an answer were given us, it ought to satisfy the consciences of Catholics, considering the maturity with which the Holy See proceeds, and considering also that we know it to be an authority divinely appointed and divinely assisted for our guidance in the way of salvation, and, consequently, in the path of duty. But as the Pope's infallibility does not extend to particular cases, and as the decision might rest on allegations the truth of which some might doubt, I can conceive that, in certain circumstances, some might not be entirely satisfied, even though retaining all due reverence for the Holy See. And, again, he said it was a mistake to suppose that obedience to the Pope was limited to this matter, for Dr. Moriarty was asked the following question— At the same time, if a man were disposed to transfer his allegiance, or to give it up, that decision of the Pope would enable him to give it up with a safe conscience, would it not? And the reply was— Yes; for a Catholic should feel his conscience at rest when acting in accordance with a decision of the Pope. Now, they had among the Roman Catholics a body of men who formed a certain political party in this country, and was it, he would ask, reasonable that the State should be asked to establish for any particular party—suppose for the Jacobites of other times—a college by which they might the more efficiently carry into effect the political views which they happened to entertain? Such a proposition would be absurd in the case of any political party, and it was still more so when applied to the Roman Catholic priests, who were the subjects of a foreign potentate—the head of a great political organisation. The connection between the Government and the Roman Catholic hierarchy constituted a union painful to every person who had the interest of his country sincerely at heart. They had become acquainted with instances in which the pope had been consulted with reference to measures of internal government to be adopted in this Kingdom; and he could not help feeling, that whether in the case of a Pope, an Emperor, or a King, it was a fact dishonourable and dishonouring to those concerned in it, injurious to the dignity of the Crown, and detrimental to the best interests of the nation, that any Foreign Potentate should be permitted to have a voice, even in the slightest degree, in the management of the internal affairs of this country. The whole system, in fact, was utterly at variance with the spirit of liberty which prevailed in Britain, and tended to destroy that right of private judgment which was essential to nerve the human mind in maintaining its independence. There were two Amendments about to be proposed to the Motion of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire; one by the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Scholefield) and the other by the hon. Member for Westmeath (Mr. Pollard-Urquhart). Both of those Amendments had for their objects to draw the House away from the consideration of the question of the endowment of Maynooth. The hon. Member for Birmingham proposed that all church endowments in Ireland should be abolished, and, for his own part, he (Mr. Dunlop) was perfectly willing that all sects should be left free without any endowment; but at the same time, in carrying out those views, he did not deem it necessary to combine the elements of opposition against him. He believed, also, that many who supported that Amendment two years ago were now willing to take those endowments one by one, and to deal with them in detail. He had considerable satisfaction in thinking that the grounds of opposition to the particular endowment under their consideration had become more enlarged than had some time since been the case, and that they were not based upon the desire to act oppressively with reference to any religious body in particular. We had arrived at a period when we no longer sought to throw any obstacles in the way of the enjoyment of the political or religious liberty of Roman Catholics; but at the same time we should be prepared to insist that a system, such as that which prevailed in Maynooth, should not be fostered by the State.

Motion made, and Question proposed— That this House do resolve itself into a Committee for the purpose of considering the Acts for the Endowment of the College of Maynooth, with a view to the withdrawal of any endowment out of the Consolidated Fund, due regard being had to vested rights or interests.


said, he had given notice of an Amendment to the following effect—"That the House resolve itself into Committee to consider the existing state of Ecclesiastical endowments in Ireland." The objections of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner) to the endowment of Maynooth were based upon three grounds; namely, that it was anomalous that a Protestant State should endow a Roman Catholic College; that the theological opinions of the Roman Catholic clergy deserved condemnation; and that they themselves interfered unjustifiably in politics. With respect to the first objection, he was to a certain extent inclined to concur in the opinion that there was an anomaly in a Protestant State endowing a Roman Catholic college, but did not the endowment of Maynooth bear testimony to the still greater anomaly of the whole ecclesiastical system of Ireland? Had not that endowment been a sort of set-off against the still greater anomaly of maintaining a Protestant establishment in a country where five-sixths of the population were members of the Roman Catholic persuasion. In 1795, the success of the French arms, and the unsettled state of Ireland, had alarmed the English Government, and then it was that upon Maynooth an endowment bad first been bestowed. In 1845, the augmentation of that endowment had been the result of the convulsion occasioned in Ireland by the monster meetings, and of a dispute with America in relation to the Oregon boundary, which at the time had assumed a somewhat serious character. If the Government of the present day were to follow out the policy of Pitt and Peel, the grant of Maynooth ought to be still further increased; because the position of the affairs of this country was now such as ought to make Her Majesty's Ministers not a little uneasy. The worst enemies of England, even the Czar himself, could desire nothing more anxiously than that some measure should be adopted which would irritate the public mind in Ireland and convulse once more that country, rendering again necessary the presence there of 30,000 troops, and causing the fidelity of the army abroad to be suspected. Hoe Ithacus velit, et magno mcrcentur Atridæ. By no means, certainly, could such a proceeding be more speedily realised than by the success of the measure which the hon. Member for North Warwickshire had announced it to be his intention to propose. No more effectual course than that could be adopted to convulse Ireland with monster meetings from one end of it to the other; to sow the seeds of disaffection in the minds of the Irish people, and to prevent them from enlisting in our army. He therefore should entreat the House to beware how, in a moment of danger such as the present, they gave their sanction to the principle which the hon. Member for North Warwickshire asked them to adopt. With reference to the political influence which the Roman Catholic clergymen in Ireland were said to exercise, he should observe that they, for the most part, belonged to the class of small farmers, that they passed their youth among the people, that their sympathies were with the people, and that it was, under such circumstances, but natural that they should upon almost every occasion be consulted by the members of their flock—the more so, because he was most likely the only educated person with whom they happened to come in frequent contact. Previously to 1826, when Catholic Emancipation became the question of the hustings, the advice of the Roman Catholic clergy was confined entirely to private concerns, and they never interfered to direct the political suffrages of the people; but when it became the great question, whether a person professing the faith of the great majority of the people should or should not be qualified to make laws, many tenants, who had before given their votes cheerfully in accordance with the wishes of their landlords, were brought to the poll to record their votes, at the risk of being turned out of their holdings if they refused, against the man who thought that the religious faith which they entertained ought not to disqualify a person from being eligible to make laws. It was not surprising, therefore, that the Roman Catholic clergy should then advise the people how to exercise their suffrage, and should tell them to make it a point of national or religious honour to vote for the candidate who did not think that their religious faith should form a political disqualification. Such was the first occasion of the political interference of the priests in Ireland, and such the cause which forced the ministers of religion to become the tribunes of the people. Many reasons had since induced the Roman Catholic clergy to continue to exercise the same influence, and at the last election they were of opinion that a very unnatural and a very unchristian spirit of bigotry had been attempted to be raised against their religion throughout the United Kingdom. He knew that many persons objected not so much to the political interference of the priests as to the language they had been reported to use. Far be it from him to justify some of that language; but it was not fair to ascribe to the whole body language only used by a portion, and it should be borne in mind that exaggerated expressions were very common on the other side of the Channel among all parties. But had the Roman Catholic clergy confined themselves to directing the people how to dispose of their suffrage? Had they not at different times done their best to suppress attempts at revolution, and was it not almost entirely owing to the exertions of the Roman Catholic clergy that the attempted rebellion in 1848, which might have proved a very serious embarrassment to the Government, was prevented? The charge against the Roman Catholic clergy was, that they had taught the people how to gain their liberties by constitutional means, but they had at the same time prevented them from using violence. But were the Roman Catholic clergy, and especially those connected with Maynooth, the only clergy who interfered with politics? Montesquieu stated, that to the interference of the clergy in Spain, it was to be attributed that that country had not become one of the worst of despotisms. But was the hon. Member for North Warwickshire quite sure that the Roman Catholic priests were the only clergymen who interfered in politics? If such was the case he was entirely mistaken, and was attributing to the Roman Catholic clergy a line of conduct in pursuing which they were, as compared with the ministers of other religions, by no means singular. Was it not notorious that the Scottish clergy had in past ages taken a leading part in the struggles of their nation for civil and religious liberty? Was it not equally well known that the Dutch Protestant clergy had largely contributed to raise the House of Orange to sovereign power in their country? And were hon. Gentlemen opposite quite sure that the Protestant clergy of these kingdoms did not at the present day interfere in politics? Was it not generally supposed that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford (Mr. Cardwell) had at the last general election failed to secure his return for Liverpool, in consequence of the opposition of the Protestant clergy? He (Mr. P. Urquhart) could state, that at his own last election the parson of his parish had canvassed against him. So much for the political part taken by Roman Catholic clergymen—so much for making that an argument against continuing the grant to Maynooth—a grant which he would be pre- pared to consider the propriety of withdrawing, if the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Warwickshire would consent to open the whole question of Ecclesiastical endowments in Ireland. But until the hon. Gentleman and his supporters should show their readiness to adopt that course, he should feel it his duty to offer his strenuous opposition to that Motion. After the observations that had been made, he should not press his Amendment.


said, he could not help regarding the present Motion as a fresh product of that sleepless bigotry which found in his hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner) an ever ready and willing instrument—a bigotry which, he believed, would never be satisfied until it should have brought every faiths and persuasion within the narrow limits of its own wretched sectarianism. He thought he might take it for granted that the main charges against the College of Maynooth were that it taught religious error—that its doctrines were inconsistent with loyalty to the State—and that some of its teachings were essentially and grossly immoral. Into the question of religious truth or error the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of the College of Maynooth could not enter. It was not their province to say what was or what was not religious truth. But the Commissioners had reported on the question of loyalty inculcated at that College, and also on the question of the morality of the students. He would, before resuming his seat, read two extracts from the Report bearing upon those points. He should, however, first remark that his hon. Friend the Member fur North Warwickshire had not read a single passage from the Report; but had made all his quotations from the evidence given before the Commissioners. Now it should be observed that the Report was not founded on any special portion of the evidence, but on the evidence generally, while any particular part of the evidence could only convey the opinion of some one individual; and, under these circumstances, he did not think it altogether fair that his hon. Friend should have made no reference whatever to the Report. Upon the subject of the loyalty inculcated in that college, the Commissioners stated that— All the students are required during the year following their entrance, to take the oath of allegiance; and they afterwards added— We should be doing injustice to the college if we failed to report, as the general result of the whole evidence before us, that we see no reason to believe that there has been any disloyalty in the teaching of the college, or any disposition to interfere with the obligations of an unreserved allegiance to Her Majesty. Then, with respect to the morality of the students, they stated— We have heard no imputation from any quarter against the moral character of the young men, and we have no reason to believe that their general conduct is other than irreproachable. And, again, when treating of the preparatory instruction for the confessional, they declare— We are here bound to say that we have no reason to believe from the evidence of any party that these studies have had a practically injurious effect on the mind and character of the students. This was the general result of the Report, and it was in that way he wished to view it, and not in the partial and contracted spirit in which it had been taken by a body of Gentlemen with whom the hon. Member for North Warwickshire was associated—namely, the Protestant Alliance. That body bad put forth a publication called Ten Facts from the Maynooth Report, which had, he believed, been circulated among the Members of the House generally. The title in question would naturally imply that the facts had been taken from the Report itself, and not from the evidence. But the very first of those facts, which was headed "The poverty urged for the endowment is unsustained," was stated not on the authority of the Report, but on the authority of the Rev. Denis Brasby, one of the witnesses. And who was the Rev. Mr. Brasby? Why it appeared that he was a gentleman who had at one time brought an action against the president of Maynooth for a gross and malicious libel. He (Mr. Scholefield) aid not mean to undertake the defence of the president of Maynooth in that case; he had nothing to do with that matter; but he said that the evidence of a gentleman in the position of the Rev. Mr. Brasby was not that on which any charge against the college could be made fairly to rest. It was stated, in the next place, in the publication to which he was referring, that "the oath of allegiance was evaded." That fact was alleged to be taken from the Report; but there was not a word to that, effect in the Report signed by the Commissioners. The evidence ad- duced in favour of the allegation was that of the Rev. Mr. Brasby, and that of the Rev. John Burke, a convert to Protestantism. Now he did not say that a convert to Protestantism might not tell the truth just as well as any other man; but he said that that was not the evidence from which any one anxious to state the facts of the case fairly would make his selections. The authors of that publication further stated, that "the money is paid, but loyalty is not taught," and they added that "the Commissioners only stated that they had no reason to believe that there was any disloyalty taught." But the Commissioners had gone further, for they had stated that— They should be doing injustice to the college if they failed to report as the general result of the whole evidence before them that they saw no reason to believe that there had been any disloyalty in the teaching of the college. His hon. Friend (Mr. Spooner) had talked of the Jesuitry professed at Maynooth, but he (Mr. Scholefield) could not help observing that he had never seen a more remarkable instance of Jesuitry than that displayed by the gentleman who had drawn up that pamphlet. What were the reasons why that endowment should be withdrawn? His hon. Friend had given them to understand that it was not so much Maynooth as the Roman Catholic religion to which he objected. But it would be a perfect absurdity to suppose that Parliament would withdraw the grant to Maynooth because the Roman Catholic religion was taught there. If his hon. Friend wished to succeed in his object, he should show that the profession of the Roman Catholic religion rendered men unfit for the proper discharge of the duties of life. But where was the proof that the profession of the Roman Catholic religion made men less loyal, less chaste, less honourable, less good, than his hon. Friend or the followers of any other creed? He wanted to know if the thousands of Roman Catholic soldiers at present serving in the East were less brave, less faithful to their Queen, and less devoted to their duty than the best Episcopalian Englishman or members of the Church of Scotland? His hon. Friend dared not say that they were. But his hon. Friend had told them that he had the support upon that occasion of gentlemen who were par excellence the friends of religious liberty, which liberty they considered was at present in danger. It was certainly an extraordinary circumstance that religious liberty should be in danger, and that its defender should be his hon. Friend, who was the sworn enemy of every measure for the relaxation of the laws imposing disability on the Jews or Dissenters. It appeared that there was a society in London called "The Liberation of Religion Society," which also supported his hon. Friend. He confessed he could not understand why it did so; but if the members of that society were only as true to his hon. Friend as they were to the cause of religious liberty, to which they professed a special allegiance, he did not think his hon. Friend would have much reason to congratulate himself on their support. Where was the smallest evidence that the presence of Roman Catholics among us in any way jeopardised our civil liberties? If he could see any indication of an attempt on the part of the Roman Catholics to destroy our civil rights, he should be prepared to pass the most stringent measures to restrict such an attempt. He was assured, however, that his hon. Friend was not contending for religious rights or liberties, but for what might be considered religious truth. But that surely was not the place to consider what was religious truth. What was religious truth to one man was religious error to another; and by what authority could his hon. Friend undertake to decide for other men what was religious truth? He knew of no such authority for any men in the world; and least of all did he know of any such authority for men—he was not then speaking of his hon. Friend, but of other parties—who seemed to know all Scripture by heart, and to have every one of its texts present to their minds, except that one which declared that "Charity is above all." He believed that the Church of England had many grave errors to answer for. But, at all events, its high educational training had contributed hitherto to keep it comparatively free from a spirit of narrow and illiberal persecution. He was sorry, however, to have to say, that he saw many symptoms at present that the Church was imbibing that spirit. He found among its members men of highly respectable positions, who, not content with resisting the claims of Dissenters, or with refusing to emancipate the Jews, or with traducing the Roman Catholics, were directing the most bitter complaints against some of the most pious and the most emi- ment members of their own Church. He had that day had a pamphlet sent to him, from which he learnt that a rev. gentleman of the name of Hobart Seymour, had been addressing the members of the Protestant Alliance in Bath, and while speaking of the Roman Catholic colleges in Ireland, he suggested that if they wanted tutors some of the tractarian party in this country could very well be spared them— If they want a parish priest," said the rev. gentleman, "we can let them have Mr. Bennett, of Frome; if an archdeacon, we can give them Archdeacon Denison; if nothing less than a D.D. will content them, we can throw in Dr. Pusey, and if they go so high as a bishop, we can let them have Samuel of Oxford and Henry of Exeter. But if he (Mr. Scholefield) were called upon to state whom the Church could best spare, he would choose such gentlemen as Mr. Seymour himself and his followers; and he would even—to use Mr. Seymour's words—"throw in" his hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire, rather than lose any one of even the least discreet of the eminent men who had been so slightingly referred to. But let the Dissenters beware how they joined that section of the Church of England. They might rely upon it that that section was not more true to its instincts of opposition to the Roman Catholic faith than to its instincts of opposition to the rights of conscience everywhere. The grant to Maynooth was an anomaly, and he was as much in favour of removing it as his hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire himself. But that was only a part of a most anomalous system; and if the grant were to be withdrawn he could see but one fair and honourable mode of accomplishing that object—namely, to sweep away every analogous endowment in the country. He was afraid that many of his hon. Friends around him who shared his opinions upon that point, and who had, on former occasions, voted with him, would vote with his hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire that evening, on the ground that they had already found that they could not get rid of all those grants at once, and that they believed, if they were to get rid of Maynooth, all the others would ultimately share the same fate. But how would they share the same fate? Could those Gentlemen imagine for a moment, that if his hon. Friend (Mr. Spooner) and his party were successful in that Motion they would afterwards join them in removing all other endowments? Could any one doubt that the opponents of the Maynooth grant would abandon their liberal allies on the occasion of the discussing the Regium Donum, or any other Protestant endowment? The smallest endowment—he meant the smallest in proportion to the number of the Roman Catholics—and the most necessary endowment—he meant the most necessary from the comparatively greater poverty of the Roman Catholics—would then be withdrawn; but the larger and the less needful endowments would be allowed to remain. He would be no party to such an injustice. He was prepared to vote for the removal of all endowments; but if that vote were not adopted, he should stand by Maynooth, not because he was in favour of Maynooth, for he was as much opposed to it as his hon. Friend himself, but because he would be no party to a line of conduct which he considered would be as unjust and ungenerous as it would be dangerous to the tranquillity and the welfare of the country. He would now beg leave to move the Amendment of which he had given notice. The hon. Gentleman concluded amidst much cheering by moving his Amendment.

Amendment proposed, to leave out from the word "considering," to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "all grants or endowments for ecclesiastical purposes, whether charged on the Consolidated Fund or annually voted by Parliament, with a view to their withdrawal, due regard being had to vested rights or interests," instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."


Sir, the sin which most easily besets my hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire is, that propensity for dwelling on those features of the case which afford the least satisfaction to the observer, which in Den's Theology is designated as a species of morose delight.

But when I call to mind the nature of those morbid anticipations respecting the Report of the Maynooth Commission, in which the English public were taught to indulge, I cannot help rejoicing for the sake of our common Christianity, that both Southern and Pictish fanaticisms have found so little basis for their calumnies.

Loathsome and repugnant to human nature was the description of the studies of this Roman Catholic seminary, which, according to the Royal Commissioners, is the abode of youth of undoubted purity and unsuspected morality.

True, it is, that Calvinistic hostility may find in the evidence of Dr. O'Hanlon, and his confusion of spiritual and political duties, some ground for criticism. But, is Ireland the only country in the world in which political theology is known? And is the Roman Catholic the only religion in Ireland in which political theology is inculcated? Nor are Dr. O'Hanlon's opinions so dangerous as at the first blush you may be led to suppose. I am willing to admit, that in a country like England, where the law has not only been long powerful, but long respected, sacerdotal interference in political agitation would be intolerable; but in Ireland, with its anomalies of a Church of one creed, and a population of another, with inhabitants locally connected, but disunited by political aversions, the temporal influence of the priest is by no means an unmixed evil; possibly in some cases that influence may have been abused; but mental influence, even when abused, is far better than the exercise of that physical power which, were it not for the refuge of the priesthood, would be the only remedy of the Irish peasant voter under his numerous and untold oppressions.

Allusions, too, have been made to the nature of the works of St. Alphonse Liguori, and more especially of that which prepares the priest for the duties of the confessional. I acknowledge that its study is repulsive and uncongenial; but the opponents of this grant should have had the candour to admit that it is only placed in the hands of the priest a few days prior to his leaving the College, and the preparation for the mental, like that of the physical anatomy of the human heart, is necessarily to some extent loathsome.

But be the nature of the course of study pursued at Maynooth what it may, it is in conformity with the religion of the great majority of the people of Ireland, and Paley, whom I prefer as an authority to the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, lays it down as all incontrovertible axiom, that it is not the business of the State to decide whether a religion be pure or corrupt, true or false, but whether it is in conformity with the wishes of a majority of the people.

This principle has been reduced to practice in Scotland; had it been in Ireland, the conclusion to which we must arrive is manifest and irresistible.

The hon. Gentleman has repudiated all knowledge of the author of that filthy and licentious publication from Glasgow, which has been so freely circulated among the Members of this House, and attempted to divest both himself and those societies with which he is connected from all responsibility on account of its issue. I tell him the onus is not so easily cast off. Wares of this kind would not be furnished were it not for the encouragement of that demand which the political efforts of the hon. Gentleman have tended so greatly to create.

Sir, there are some Members of this House who have thought fit to rest the title to the Maynooth grant on some contract, either express or implied, on the part of the English Government with the Irish people at the Union. When I consider how English contracts with Ireland have been usually fulfilled, I decline to place the Maynooth grant upon so weak and insecure a foundation; for although, when I observe the animosities to which it gives birth, I could wish it abolished, yet until that abolition is the voluntary act of the Irish people and proclaimed by the voice of their representatives, I will not be a party to pilfer this wretched pittance from the clergy of that people who were compelled to maintain an alien Church, the ruins of which, had Irish representatives been more faithful to their country and true to their creed, more observant of their constituents and less pliant to the Minister, would long since have been carted away. For my part, I look upon that Irish Catholic Member who cooperates with any Government which does not make the destruction of the Irish Church a Cabinet question, as little better than a traitor to his country and an apostate to his faith.

But there is a party in this House whose votes on this question I regard with more interest than those even of the representatives for Ireland—I mean the party led by the hon. Baronet the Member for Hertfordshire and the noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn. By the hon. Baronet and the noble Lord we have lately been informed that liberality of sentiment is no mere party attribute, but indigenous in our country and common to all; and I, who had fancied it banished from these walls, and knew it to be extinct among the Members of Her Majesty's Government, exulted at the announcement, and in their votes tonight I seek for the evidences of their sincerity. But if not in your justice, in your self-interest be my confidence. This is a Catholic question. With those of three Catholic nations, France, Austria, and Sardinia, your interests are now indissolubly bound. The allegiance of Catholic Ireland by Calvinistic Scotland is still unsuspected. At Alma, Balaklava, and Inkerman, Catholic and Protestant fought side by side, their blood flowed in an undivided stream, their bones have bleached unseparated beneath the snows of a Crimean winter, the same sun rises and sets on their undistinguishable ashes. Ireland is now a bulwark of your strength; pause, ere you convert her into a source of weakness. Your triumphs have already been clouded with disasters and by the follies of a Government, than any disaster far more humiliating; I therefore entreat you in the name of our common country not to add to the perils which without environ us the more fearful calamity of domestic alienation.


said, he thought the number of petitions presented in favour of inquiry into Maynooth showed the strength of public feeling, and justified the Motion of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Spooner). The Roman Catholics were no doubt a large class of our fellow-countrymen, and every one would feel desirous of conceding a little to them, but why, he would ask, should Maynooth receive 26,000l. a-year of public money, while Oxford and Cambridge only received about 2,000l. a-year? Was the Roman Catholic Church so poor that it could not afford to educate its own priests? No one who looked at the splendid churches and institutions of the Roman Catholics in every part of the world could doubt that they had ample means at their disposal for supplying their Church with priests. The Report of the Maynooth Commissioners showed that half the Irish Roman Catholic clergy were educated at Maynooth, and it was important to inquire whether the Act of 1845 had answered the objects of its authors? That Act was designed to be a measure of conciliation; but how had it been received by the Roman Catholic Church? Why, it was well known that the Papal aggression, as it was termed, had occurred since the passing of that Act. Again, had the Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland shown a spirit of increased moderation since this boon was granted to them? Experience proved the reverse of this. It had been asserted that every student who entered Maynooth College was furnished with a Bible; but what was the evidence of the Rev. Mr. O'Callaghan before the Commissioners on that point? That witness stated that he was not aware of the existence of any such rule; that when he entered the College he was not furnished with a Bible; and that he could not obtain one in the establishment to be sworn on when about to take the oath of allegiance. Mr. O'Callaghan also stated that a hatred of England and of Protestantism was the strongest and most predominant feeling among the students at Maynooth while he was there. Now, was this feeling encouraged by the education given or by the example set by the superiors of the college? In 1836, a feast took place at Maynooth to celebrate the visit of the Lord Lieutenant (the Marquess of Normanby). The professors of the college were present, as well as the students, and one would think that the Queen's health would have been proposed on such an occasion; but, no! Mr. O'Connell's health, however, was drunk, and Mr. Whitehead, the professor of logic, spoke to the toast, and made a most violent political speech. Dr. Montague, then the head of the college, was present, as was also Dr. Renehan, the vice-president, the latter of whom (perhaps because he had not the gift of oratory) favoured the company with a song. Was this a fitting way in which to conduct the education of the students? He should conclude by expressing a hope that the House would have a regard to the Protestant feeling of the country on this question—a feeling on which the security of our Protestant institutions and our civil liberty mainly depended.


said, that this certainly was not a propitious time to designate as idolatry the faith of those nations with whom we were in active alliance. He disapproved of the manner in which the evidence had been quoted and commented upon by the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner), with less candour than might have been expected from a religious man speaking in that House. The Amendment of the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Scholefield) did not, however, go far enough in the principle of religious equality, for it only related to endowments granted by Parliament; if it had extended its operation to the Church of England he should have concurred in it, but as it was he should vote against both the Amendment as well as the original Motion. He considered that the hon. Member for North Warwickshire had dealt unfairly with the evidence, which he had so jumbled up with the Report that it was impossible to distinguish which quotation was from the Report and which from the evidence. In dealing with this evidence they were bound to consider the verdict of an enlightened jury upon it—the Report of the Commissioners. These Gentlemen had been fully competent to carry out the charge intrusted to them. There could be no doubt as to their talents and veracity, and they had, without a dissentient voice, found that the evidence given was satisfactory, and, instead of condemning the system of teaching at Maynooth, stated that it was highly creditable to the professors and to the mode in which education was conducted at the college. A great deal had been said as to the influence of Roman Catholic clergy at elections. He might remark, though it was not very pertinent to the present occasion, that he was desirous that voters should be protected from all undue influence by means of the ballot; but was this undue influence at elections confined to the Roman Catholic clergy? The hon. Members for Dublin and Liverpool possibly might know something of the influence of certain Protestant clergymen at elections. He should be glad if his Roman Catholic brethren were in such a position as to be able to do without this grant, because, if they gave it up, they would have a stronger case against the Established Church; but as their Church was not rich enough to dispense with this endowment, he would support the continuance of it. He must complain of the publication which had been sent round to all the Members of the House, and which was so disgusting that he was sorry to have heard the hon. Gentleman mention it. Even if it were a true extract, it only showed the corruption of the times in which the book alluded to was written. That book was not a class book in the college, although it might be in the library there. But what if every gentleman should be held responsible for the immoral or improper sentiments of every book in his own library? Only last night a book was referred to, the Whole Duty of Man, which the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) said every gentleman ought to have read. It occurred to him (Mr. Bland) that there were many sentences in that book which would not suit the present age; and he had asked for the book, but it was not in the library of that House. Again, Luther's Sermon on Matrimony was not fit to be put into the hands of youth, but it could not be called immoral. As for the political influence of the Roman Catholic Church, it was natural that, remembering the time when the forty-shilling voters of Ireland were driven like sheep to the poll, to vote against their consciences, there should be a reaction now, and that they should follow the counsel of the men who attended them with religious consolations in sickness and in death. He should merely ask the House to pause before they even by possibility shocked the feeling of good fellowship that was now beginning to grow up in Ireland by withdrawing this paltry grant, if it were in other respects generally politic. They should consider that they were at war with a foreign State, and they should pause before they produced the slightest degree of discontent in Ireland.


said, he was always unwilling to trespass on the attention of the House, but he was especially so when he knew that the feelings of many hon. Members were strongly opposed to the view he took upon this subject. He begged to assure those hon. Members, that he desired to say nothing personal or offensive to them in the course of his observations. He would not follow his hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire through the evidence which he had so ably brought before the House, because, in his opinion, this was not a question as to what evidence had been given or withheld at Maynooth; the question was, whether the teaching of the Church of Rome, paid for by this country, was or was not beneficial to the people of Ireland, and it must be decided by a consideration of the moral results of that teaching. He wished, however, to call the attention of the Government to the specific charge made by his hon. Friend in bringing this Motion, that the evidence laid on the table was a fraud, and not the bonâ fide evidence which had been taken before the Commissioners. It was the duty of the Government to have that charge either proved or disproved, for he would not for a moment suppose that any Member of Her Majesty's Government would be a party to any transaction such as that described by his hon. Friend. The hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Scholefield) had accused a clergyman of the Church of England of want of charity, but he thought that the hon. Gentleman had better have grappled with the facts which Mr. Hobart Seymour had stated, than have dwelt upon some playful words which had occurred in his speech. The object of that speech was to show that Maynooth was unnecessary, and that, even were it necessary, it was kept up on a more extensive scale than was demanded by the requirements of Ireland. Mr. Hobart Seymour argued that it was unnecessary, because the Roman Catholic clergy might be educated with the Roman Catholic laity at Trinity College, Dublin; and he followed up that argument by proving that 296 priests were regularly educated at Maynooth beyond the number required for Ireland, and were therefore distributed through England, Scotland, and other parts of the world. It appeared from the evidence, that 2,260 priests were the estimated requirement of Ireland. And, according to the annual estimate of deaths, it had been calculated that there would be fifty-six annual deaths to supply. Thus making allowance for the representations which had been made, that it took four years to educate a priest, that would make the endowment necessary for 224 priests, and not for 520, for which the grant was now made. So that there were, as he had stated, 296 priests constantly being educated above the requirements of Ireland. He had the highest authority for the assertion that the teaching of the Church of Rome was not beneficial to the people of Ireland. He would first refer the House to the opinions expressed by Mr. Macaulay in his History of England, in speaking of the influence of the Church of Rome— From the time when the barbarians overran the Western Empire to the time of the revival of letters, the influence of the Church of Rome had been generally favourable to science, to civilisation, and to good government. But during the last three centuries to stunt the growth of the human mind has been her chief object. Throughout Christendom, whatever advance has been made in knowledge, in freedom, in wealth, and in the arts of life has been made in spite of her, and has everywhere been in inverse proportion to her power. The loveliest and most fertile provinces of Europe have, under her rule, been sunk in poverty, in political servitude, and in intellectual torpor, while Protestant countries, once proverbial for sterility and barbarism, have been turned by skill and industry into gardens, and can boast of a long list of heroes and statesmen, philosophers and poets. Whoever, knowing what Italy and Scotland naturally are, and what, 400 years ago, they actually were, shall now compare the country round Rome with the country round Edinburgh, will be able to form some judgment as to the tendency of Papal domination. The descent of Spain, once the first among monarchies, to the lowest depths of degradation; the elevation of Holland, in spite of many natural disadvan- tages, to a position such as no commonwealth so small has ever reached, teach the same lesson, Whoever passes, in Germany, from a Roman Catholic to a Protestant principality; in Switzerland, from a Roman Catholic to a Protestant canton; in Ireland, from a Roman Catholic to a Protestant county; finds that he has passed from a lower to a higher grade of civilisation. On the other side of the Atlantic the same law prevails. The Protestants of the United States have left far behind them the Roman Catholics of Mexico, Peru, and Brazil. The Roman Catholics of Lower Canada remain inert, while the whole continent round them is in a ferment with Protestant activity and enterprise. The French have, doubtless, shown an energy and an intelligence which, even when misdirected, have justly entitled them to be called a great people. But this apparent exception, when examined, will be found to confirm the rule; for in no country that is called Roman Catholic, has the Roman Catholic Church, during several generations, possessed so little authority as in France. He would next read a short extract upon the same subject from a work which had been recently published by Lord Carlisle, the present Lord Lieutenant of Ireland— The scenery along the Elbe continues to be pretty, but the transition from Saxony to Bohemia, with regard to the aspect of the people, of their dwellings, and of their agriculture, rather resembles the change from English to Irish landscape; not that Saxony is so well dressed as England, or Bohemia so ill dressed as Ireland. How are we to distribute the causes of this difference? What to Government? What to creed? I think I may take credit to myself for wishing to look at all things with an unbigoted eye, but then it seems to me that as soon as you come to the crucifix on the high knolls and in the little grove, often most picturesque in effect, the appearance of comfort anti wellbeing among the people is on the wane. But he would not rest his argument upon opinions only. What were the facts proved by parliamentary returns and official documents with regard to the state of crime in other countries as compared with England? He would contrast the number of committals for murder in Roman Catholic countries with that in Protestant England. It appeared from official documents that the average annual number of committals for murder in Roman Catholic Ireland had been for some years nineteen to the million; in Belgium, eighteen; in France, thirty-one; in Austria, thirty-six; in Bavaria, sixty-eight; in Sardinia, twenty; in Lombardy, forty-five; in Tuscany, fifty-six; in the Papal States, 113; in Roman Catholic Sicily, ninety; in Naples, 174; and in Protestant England, four to the million. Here was evidence of the different result attending the teaching of Protestant England and of those countries which were subject to the Church of Rome; and it was upon this that he grounded his argument that they were not justified in voting money year after year which, as Protestants and men of sense, they must see was not expended in a way beneficial to the people. It had been held that we were bound by some compact which was entered into at the time of the Union. Now, he would yield to none in his desire to fulfil any compact, contract, or agreement. But he would deny that there was any compact entered into at the time of the Union by which we were bound to maintain any such grant, and he called upon those who declared that any such agreement or contract was entered into to produce it. In the Act of Union was the following clause— That a sum not less than the sum which has been granted by the Parliament of Ireland, on the average of six years immediately preceding the 1st of January, in the year 1800, in premiums for the internal encouragement of manufactures, or for the maintaining of institutions for pious and charitable purposes, shall be applied, for the period of twenty years after the Union, to such local purposes in Ireland, in such manner as the Parliament of the United Kingdom shall direct. For twenty years after the 1st January, 1800; and he need not tell the House that the compact which had thus existed had expired more than thirty years ago. This was the only semblance of a compact under which the present grant had been made; and he denied that tins country could in any way be considered as bound for the future to make such a grant. Having already referred to the opinion of two eminent and liberal statesmen, he ventured now to quote the opinion of his right hon. Friend the member for the University of Oxford (Mr. Gladstone), not, he could assure him, for the purpose of taunting him with a change of opinion, for he did not believe that as a question of principle the right hon. Gentleman had changed his opinion at all, even if, unfortunately, he had lent his great talents and the weight of his moral worth to aid the cause of legislation upon expediency instead of upon principle. In that valuable work of his, The Church in its Relations to the State, the right hon. Gentleman made a remark which he never had and never could answer, and with which he (Mr. Horsfall) would now conclude his observations—namely, that "the grant to Maynooth is wholly vicious in principle, and will be a thorn in the side of the people of this country as long as it is continued."


said, he hoped he might be permitted to say, without any disrespect to the hon. Member who had just sat down, that he did not think the speech of the hon. Gentleman had any direct bearing upon the question immediately before the House. They were certainly not met there to discuss the tenets or the bearings of the Roman Catholic religion. The hon. Member had contrasted the state of crime in Catholic, with that in Protestant countries, but he had put out of sight the Government, the constitution, the police of other countries, and had, as he thought, from the facts adduced by him, come to an unfair conclusion against Catholicism. He (Mr. Horsman) did not look upon this as a religious question at all; it was a political question only. It was not as if Parliament had now to consider whether they would have the Roman Catholic religion professed by a great body of the Queen's subjects, for this was a matter upon which they had no choice. The question was, whether or not one-third of the subjects of the Queen being of that religion, the policy pursued sixty years ago on this subject by a far-seeing Minister was wise and beneficial; and whether he was right in determining upon affording an education to the priests of Ireland, who must have great influence over the people of that country, whether you wished it or not, which would make that influence friendly to this country, instead of operating in every respect disadvantageously. He would not, therefore, follow the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner) into the theological questions raised by him with reference to the confessional, the law of marriage, or other peculiar tenets of the Roman Catholic Church, feeling as a Protestant that he was far better employed in studying his own religion, instead of wounding the feelings of other people by depreciating and condemning theirs. He felt this to be a much larger question than was comprised in the mere vote of so many thousand pounds a year for the purpose of educating the priests of Ireland. It was a question whether or not they should reverse that system of policy which, during the last twenty-five years, had been adopted towards our fellow-subjects in that country; and this measure was only one link in a chain of policy, which, he believed, had been alike beneficial to Ireland and honourable to England. He had certainly listened with some curiosity to know how the hon. Member for North Warwickshire could reconcile the statements he had made, and the Motion he had now submitted to the House, with the Report of the Commission of which the hon. Gentleman might be said to be the parent. Remembering that the question was now for the first time before the House, as it were, in an official form—remembering that year after year the hon. Gentleman had told the House that if they would agree to inquiry—if they would only grant him a Commission—he would prove all he had asserted, he could not consider this a question of feeling so much as a question of fact; and what they had to consider now was, not the general statements in which the hon. Member had again indulged, but the evidence and the Report of this Commission, which the hon. Gentleman at present thought it convenient entirely to ignore. In the first place, he would remind the House what really was the origin of the Maynooth establishment which they were then discussing. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire stated that the endowment was a voluntary one on the part of the English Government, that they gained no advantage by it, and that it was in every respect a voluntary act on their part, and a boon conferred upon the Catholics. Now, without hazarding opinions or indulging in assertions, he (Mr. Horsman) referred to authentic documents, and drew from them a different conclusion. The establishment of the College of Maynooth took place at a time of almost unexampled peril to this country. It was at a time when the Government of England was seriously alarmed by the discontent of the Irish nation, and the embarrassment which this might cause them. It was at a time when we were engaged in a war with France, which was then most disastrous to us, and when we had formed alliances which at that period were falling from us. The French revolution had recently taken place, and the whole of Europe was engaged in a war, the consequence of that revolution. England at that period had suffered reverses which filled the Government with great alarm. The year 1795 commenced, and at the meeting of Parliament there was a description given by the Lord Lansdowne of that day of the results of the last campaign, as stated by the French— Twenty-three sieges successfully conducted by them; six pitched battles decisively won; 2,803 cannon taken; 60,000 of the best troops of Europe compelled to surrender prisoners of war, either by capitulation or in the field; 144 towns and cities captured—among them many of the strongest fortresses in Europe."—[Parl History, vol. xxxi. p. 975. That was the state of the war; and, with regard to our alliances, Russia had fallen from us and had concluded a treaty with France. Spain and Holland had also quitted us, and we were in a condition of embarrassment and danger. The Catholics of Ireland availed themselves of the opportunity to petition for the redress of all their grievances, and the Government of England made concessions which, large as they were, were repudiated by the Irish people. Lord Fitzwilliam was then sent over as Lord Lieutenant, but was shortly afterwards recalled; and in an account given by the historian of that day of the temper of the Irish people with regard to the Maynooth establishment and the recall of Lord Fitzwilliam it was stated— The resentment of the public was particularly marked on the 25th of March, when Lord Fitzwilliam took his departure from Ireland. It was a day of general gloom; the shops were shut, no business of any kind was transacted, and the whole city put on mourning. His coach was drawn to the waterside by some of the most respectable citizens, and the people seemed intent on every demonstration of grief. He had now shown the House what was the temper of Ireland and the condition of England in the year in which the establishment of the college of Maynooth was agreed to. The Minister who proposed the endowment was the Tory Minister, William Pitt; and the Parliament which sanctioned it was a Parliament composed exclusively of Protestants, in which the prelates of the Irish Church had seats. At the time the Act was agreed to, religious feeling was much stronger than any feeling in these days, but the establishment of the College of Maynooth was carried through the Parliament without a single dissentient voice, and the measure was assented to by George the Third, the most anti-Catholic monarch that ever sat on the English throne. It must, however, be borne in mind that the measure was not agreed to under a feeling of temporary apprehension, but that it had a far deeper motive and a more long-sighted policy. That which created apprehension in the minds of the English Ministers was the influence which the Irish priest exercised over his flock, and which he exercised according to opinions derived, and on education received, in a foreign country, where he had learnt to imbibe foreign principles hostile both to the religion and constitution of England. It was con- sequently a matter of policy to withdraw the Irish priest as much as possible from continental associations and principles, and to establish him as much as possible in his own country with kindly feelings towards those among whom he was to live. He must here acknowledge to the hon. member for North Warwickshire that he had a feeling of considerable difficulty in dealing with this question. On the one hand, he felt that great injustice would be done to the Catholics of Ireland if the grant were withdrawn from Maynooth; but, on the other hand, be admitted that a deep feeling of earnestness had gained possession of the minds of a large portion of the people of England which was entitled to the most sincere respect. But, though he felt great difficulty in approaching the discussion of the question, he would, with the permission of the House, quote evidence which must be admitted to be perfectly unimpeachable. At the time of the Union in 1800, few men occupied a more prominent position in consulting with and advising Mr. Pitt, with regard to questions affecting the Roman Catholics, than the then Bishop of Meath, a right reverend prelate who had himself been a Roman Catholic, but who had become a convert to the Protestant faith. The correspondence of the Bishop of Meath with Mr. Pitt had since been published, and it exhibited the prominent part taken by the Bishop in the establishment of the College of Maynooth. In a letter written to Mr. Pitt, in the month of May, at the time of the Union, the Bishop of Meath said— The great intention of the institution is to give the Roman Catholic clergy a home education, and prevent them being brought up under that system that was originally framed in foreign seminaries, for the purpose of supplying a succession of men who are so necessarily connected with the great body of the people to reside in the very heart of the country, prejudiced against its constitution, leagued against its Government, and intimately connected with its enemies, and to take care that no civil prejudices at least should be engrafted on their religious opinions. It is, therefore, evident that, to secure the objects of the institution, every means should be taken to prevent the Romish clergy of the kingdom from resorting to foreign seminaries for their professional education. There would be no difficulty in quoting document upon document to show that the education of the Irish priesthood was an important consideration with Government and the leading men of the country at the time Maynooth was endowed, and that the establishment of Maynooth, in- stead of being, as represented by the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Spooner), a mere boon to the Irish people, without the Government having received anything in return for it, was a matter of State policy, called for by the dangers and exigencies of the times. The endowment of Maynooth took place in the year 1795, and five years later the Union took place. All that had been previously dune in respect to Maynooth was ratified by the Union; and in the Act of 1800 it was distinctly specified that one object of the Union was "the establishing, supporting, and endowing of the College of Maynooth." The hon. Gentleman who had just sat down (Mr. Horsfall), and also the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, had referred to an argument often used in that House, that the establishment of Maynooth was no matter of distinct contract with the Irish nation. He (Mr. Horsman) had no wish to stand solely upon the question whether there had been a distinct contract or not, because he thought he could show the House on much stronger grounds that there was an obligation to continue the establishment of Maynooth. He had been somewhat surprised at the sort of evidence brought forward by the hon. Member for North Warwickshire to show that there had not been a contract. The hon. Gentleman quoted a speech of Sir Robert Peel in 1845, applicable only to the Bill of 1845, in which Sir Robert Peel stated that the measure he then proposed had been brought forward upon no understanding with the Irish priesthood or hierarchy, upon no contract in any sense of the word, but as a mere question of policy. Now it had never been said that the contract originated with Sir Robert Peel and commenced in 1845, but it was contended that the original contract was made in 1795 and was confirmed in 1800, at the time of the Union. To show the opinion entertained of the endowment of Maynooth when it was first granted, he would quote the opinion of Mr. Perceval. No prominent public man had taken a greater part against the Catholics of Ireland than Mr. Perceval, and no one had spoken more frequently or more strongly against this very endowment of Maynooth, and yet, though all his feelings, all his prejudices were against the grant, and though all his antecedents pledged him to oppose and repeal it, this was the apology he made for not assenting to that course— As the Irish Parliament thought such a measure of policy advisable, he was still willing to retain the principle of meeting that determination; indeed, the united Legislature were bound by the principles of good faith to continue the grant. In 1812, four years afterwards, the question was again brought before the House of Commons, and Mr. Perceval, who was still a Minister of the Crown, expressed himself in these words— He supported the grant as it stood, because it was one of those which the Parliament of Ireland thought wise to preserve at the Union, because he found it, in fact, given over to England as a part of the Union. If the grant had been fairly open to opposition after the Union, he certainly should have been disposed to resist it. The grant was continued from that time until 1845, when the question was again brought before Parliament by the late Sir Robert Peel, who took what he (Mr. Horsman) considered a wise and just view of the subject. Sir Robert Peel said, that if Parliament pledged themselves to establish an institution for the education of the priesthood of Ireland they ought not to keep that word of promise merely to the letter, but to carry it out in spirit; and if they gave such an institution it ought to be adequate to the purpose for which it was established. It had been shown that the establishment of Maynooth was very inadequate, that the students were in a state of great misery, and that the professors were very ill paid. Sir Robert Peel therefore said, with great Justice—"Either do away with the institution altogether, or make it effective for the purposes for which it was established." On that occasion the House of Commons assented to the views of Sir Robert Peel; the Bill which was introduced was passed in that House; and it was confided in the House of Lords to the guardianship of a noble and eminent colleague of Sir Robert Peel, the present Earl of Derby, then Lord Stanley, who, in urging their Lordships to adopt the measure, delivered a most eloquent, powerful, and convincing speech, with some extracts from which he (Mr. Horsman) would venture to trouble the House. Lord Stanley said— They had now to deal with a case in which the population were Roman Catholics, and would be Roman Catholics; and they had to consider whether they should be instructed Roman Catholics or ignorant Roman Catholics; whether they would have those Homan Catholics educated by priests well instructed and well affected to the Government which took them by the hand, or not. Let them look at it in either way, and he would say that, as Christians as well as politicians, they, were obliged to consider it, and in that light he looked on it as wise, and just, and prudent, to give their Roman Catholic fellow-subjects the best religious education they could afford them, according to the forms of worship which they observed, and which their creed would permit them to receive at the hands of the Government or the Legislature. ….. The decision rested with their Lordships. He could not place too highly before them the responsibility that would be incurred by a rejection of this measure—a responsibility far greater than if that measure had never been introduced. But he had no such fear—he knew their Lordships would look to this question as statesmen, as Christians, and as men desirous of securing by the firmest hold the union, not the Legislative union, but the real and substantial union between all classes of the people of this empire, divided as they might be in religious faith. And while he could not express the alarm and dismay which the rejection of this measure would occasion in his mind, he had too high a sense of the wisdom, justice, and patriotism of the illustrious assemblage which he addressed, to dread that they would involve the country in the fearful consequences which he apprehended."—[3 Hansard, lxxxi. 111, 115–16.] Now, he (Mr. Horsman) did not ask whether this was a contract legally binding upon the two parties, and he would not even ask the hon. Member for North Warwickshire whether, if the Union had never taken place, he thought the Irish Parliament would have repealed the enactment. He (Mr. Horsman) would rather depend upon material facts than upon technical distinctions, and he would ask the House to consider whether, after the grant had continued for sixty years, they were prepared to abandon it upon the grounds urged by the hon. Member for north Warwickshire? He called upon the House to remember that the grant was made at a time of great national difficulty and danger; and he asked them to recollect who were the Ministers by whom it was proposed, the Monarch by whom it was sanctioned, the Legislature by which it was adopted, and the successive Administrations by which it had been supported. He asked hon. Gentlemen to remember that no leading man, on either side of the House, who had been entrusted with the conduct of public affairs, had supported the withdrawal of this grant, and he called upon them to consider the consequences that might result from withdrawing the grant upon the ground that the religion of those to whose use it was appropriated was erroneous. After Parliament had sanctioned this grant, the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, feeling that at that time it was impossible successfully to propose its repeal, asked Parliament to institute an inquiry into the state of Maynooth College, and undertake to show that the teaching at Maynooth differed from that which was originally established, that its tendency was immoral, and that the establishment was a national pest. Well, an inquiry took place; the evidence which had been given was before the House; and he (Mr. Horsman) thought it was most important that the Catholics who had been assailed, and the Protestants who had been alarmed, should know whether or not the statements which had been made by the hon. Member for North Warwickshire had been borne out by the investigation of that Commission. He had been struck with the fact, that throughout the speech of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire he had not made a single allusion to the Report of the Commissioners, and in only two instances had he referred to the evidence. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Spooner) had told them that the preparation of the speech he had made to-night had cost him laborious days and sleepless nights, and that he had felt obliged to obtain the assistance of gentlemen of eminent ability. Considering how much the hon. Gentleman had promised and how little he had performed, he (Mr. Horsman) sympathised with him both in his difficulties and in his disappointment. The hon. Gentleman had assuredly had his opportunity, and it appeared to him (Mr. Horsman) that those whom the hon. Member assailed had as assuredly had their revenge. He had felt some surprise that the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Warwickshire, with the enormous mass of evidence which he bad before him, had spoken for two hours and ten minutes before he had in any way referred to it. He had listened to his speech with great attention, and had thought at every moment, now comes the plunge, but two hours and ten minutes actually elapsed before it was really made; and when the hon. Gentleman did refer to the evidence—and in doing so he was very feeling and pathetic—he only touched upon two cases. The hon. Gentleman, in the first instance, complained that in a Return laid before Parliament the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh was designated by his Ecclesiastical title; but how could that be construed into a charge against the College of Maynooth? He then appealed to my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General for Ireland, and said, that if he would not admit that that assumption of title was a transgression of the law, he was unfit to continue in the office which he held. Now, his recollection of the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill led him to a conclusion different to that arrived at by the hon. Gentleman. According to his idea of that Act, the Archbishop of Armagh would come within the scope of it if he himself assumed an ecclesiastical title, but not because another person chose to invest him with one, and he could not therefore think that his right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General for Ireland was unfit for his position if he did not admit that because he was so designated the Archbishop of Armagh was guilty of a transgression of the law. The next charge made by the hon. Gentleman was, that a great portion of the evidence of Mr. Matthew Flannagan was suppressed, and that advantage had been taken of the permission usually accorded to a witness by a Committee of that House to revise his evidence, of effecting that object. What was the authority of the hon. Gentleman for that charge? An anonymous witness. The hon. Gentleman founded that charge upon an anonymous letter, written by a person whom he did not know, but whose respectability would, he said, be vouched for by two very respectable gentlemen, who also did not wish their names to be made known, but who would have no objection to appear before a Committee of the House of Lords. It appeared then, that the hon. Gentleman on the authority of an anonymous writer, whose respectability was vouched for by two gentlemen who were also, as regarded the House, equally anonymous, made a charge that the indulgence usually accorded by a Committee to a witness of revising his evidence had been abused. Now what was the extent of the abuse of that privilege? The hon. Gentlemen said, that the answers of Mr. Flannagan to seven questions bad been compressed into one answer by the secretary, and the hon. Gentleman had read those seven answers. Now, he had read the one answer, and he had been unable to see that it differed in any material respect from the seven answers read by the hon. Gentleman. The hon. Gentleman had said, that the evidence of Mr. Flannagan had been condensed, in order to perpetuate a job, but, in his opinion, it would be of great advantage, if not only the evidence on this subject were condensed, but also the speeches. But, be that as it might, he could not see that either the case of the Archbishop of Armagh or of Mr. Flannagan could in any way be brought forward as charges against the grant to Maynooth College. The hon. Gentleman then quoted two passages from the evidence, and, as it was likely to give rise to delusion if from a mass of evidence extracts were taken, he would only refer to the witnesses Which had been adduced by the hon. Gentleman, and he hoped to be able to show that those very witnesses had made statements adverse to the conclusion at which he had arrived. The lion. Gentleman had referred to an answer given by Mr. O'Hanlon as a proof of the recognition by the Roman Catholics of the temporal power of the Pope, but the hon. Gentleman had entirely lost sight of the answer given by the same witness to the previous question. The question was put— What is the doctrine taught in the Maynooth College on the subject of the authority of the Pope or the Church in matters of a civil or temporal nature? The answer was— We teach in Maynooth, that the Pope has no temporal power whatever, direct or indirect. We have affirmed that doctrine upon our solemn oaths, and we firmly maintain it in the College of Maynooth. We hold the same doctrine in retard to the Church. He should not have quoted from the evidence of Mr. O'Hanlon, had not the hon. Gentleman done so; but he (Mr. Horsman) thought, that when the hon. Gentleman quoted a long answer of Mr. O'Hanlon, in order to prove that the doctrine of the temporal power of the Pope was inculcated at Maynooth, he was justified in quoting a short answer in which that doctrine was most clearly and distinctly denied. He must confess that he had been rather surprised at the next question referred to by the hon. Gentleman which had been put to and answered by the Rev. Mr. O'Hanlon. The question was put— Would it be considered is a matter of course that any book put in the Index was not to be used in any Roman Catholic College? The answer was:— The Index is not received, and therefore imposes no obligation in this country. Dr. Murray, the late Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Doyle, and, as well as I can can recollect, Dr. Curtis the Archbishop of Armagh, and Dr. Kelly, Archbishop of Tuam, declared, upon their oaths, in the House of Lords, in the year 1825, that neither the 'Bulla Cœnæ', nor the Index, was received in Ireland, and I am sure they have not been received since that period. The Index, therefore, induces no obligation upon us; but, as clergymen belonging to an ecclesiastical institution, we feel ourselves constrained to defer to the expressed wishes of the Pope. And front that answer the hon. Gentleman jumped to the conclusion that, because the College of Maynooth allowed the Pope to have a voice as to the books which were to be used in the college, the teachers of that college admitted his temporal power and his right to absolve British subjects from their allegiance to the Queen. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire was followed by the hon. and learned Member for Greenock (Mr. Dunlop), who seconded his Motion, though he hardly thought the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Spooner), could have derived much comfort front the way in which that was done. The hon. and learned Member for Greenock supported the repeal of the grant to Maynooth because he wanted to destroy the Established Church. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire said the Roman Catholics would destroy the Church unless we repealed this grant, While the hon. and learned Member for Greenock said, Maynooth was one of the strongest buttresses of the Established Church, and he wanted to destroy the buttress in order that he might the easier bring down the Church. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire appealed to the Dissenters, who, he said, would be placed under the supremacy of the Roman Catholics if this grant was not repealed, and called upon them to support the Established Church, under which so many privileges were enjoyed. The hon. and learned Member for Greenock, on the other hand, said they ought to join the Catholics of Ireland and assist them in bringing down the Established Church. Such was the congruity of sentiment that existed between the mover and the seconder of this motion. But the hon. and learned Member for Greenock also appealed to the evidence, though with great caution, and he likewise did not venture to say one word with respect to the Report. The hon. and learned Gentleman alluded to the opinions of the Rev. Mr. O'Hanlon as to the interference of priests in election matters; but he forgot that Mr. O'Hanlon had distinctly stated that he never taught any doctrine on the subject, his opinions being mere abstract opinions, without any authority whatever. He was asked— Do you teach the doctrine at Maynooth to prevent the priest acting in such a manner as to make it dubious whether he is acting in his ecclesiastical function or in his temporal or civil function?—So far as I am concerned, I have never taught any doctrine in Maynooth on the subject I have never discussed the question, or touched upon it at all. I can have, however, no hesitation in stating that, in my opinion, the priest in his ecclesiastical capacity, should confine himself to the explanation and inculcation of the duties of the electors. If the electors require information or instruction, as they do frequently in many parts of Ireland, I think the priest, as such, is not only justified, but bound to teach and explain their duties. This was a conclusion very different from that which the hon. and learned Member for Greenock wished to draw from the opinion of the witness. A nether witness whom he quoted was the Rev. Dr. Moriarty, to show that the Pope had great power in electoral matters. Now he found that Dr. Moriarty was asked this question:— Supposing the Pope were to issue a bull, declaring that circumstances had now arisen in this country which released the people from the duty of allegiance, would that justify a subject in rebelling?—My answer is, that a Catholic should deem the case impossible, for he could not suppose the Pope capable of such an absurdity. Then he was asked— But suppose it did occur?—If you suppose the decree given in the present circumstances of the country it would be of no force, as being manifestly founded in error; but I again protest against the supposition as disrespectful to the Holy See. It would remain the duty of a subject to abide by his allegiance?—Certainly. Suppose the Pope were to declare that, in consequence of the establishment of the Queen's Colleges, and in consequence of the passing of the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, the time had arrived, and circumstances had arisen, under which the Irish Roman Catholics were at liberty to rebel, would that in any measure terminate the duty of or in any manner affect its obligation?—I must again answer by protesting against the supposition. Such are not the circumstances which to a Catholic mind would justify rebellion. If the case occurred, I would simply conclude that the Pope had gone mad. This was the witness who was quoted to support the opinions of the hon. and learned Member for Greenock. So much then for the evidence, and so much for the Report of the Commissioners, in so far as they had been adverted to by the two hon. Members to whom he had referred. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire having called for inquiry was not disposed to abide by its results; and the question was whether he himself having professed so much—whether when what he had stated most strongly he had stated most erroneously, and when he charged most fiercely he had charged most unjustly—he was now entitled to ask the House to come to a conclusion directly at variance with the Report of the Commissioners? The hon. Gentleman said he cared nothing for the inquiry—he cared nothing for the Report; he objected to the endowment of Popery as the endowment of error, anti upon that ground distinctly and solely he asked the House to discontinue this grant. But this was to raise the whole question of the policy of this country since 1795, and the question came to be whether this was an isolated instance in which we made payments for the benefit of the Catholic and other religions? He held in his hand a list of the Parliamentary grants that were made to other religions than the religion established by law—payments made not only to Catholics and Dissenters, but to denominations that were not Christians at all. We made large payments to English Catholic schools; to Catholic chaplains employed by the Admiralty for the benefit of Catholic seamen — to Catholic chaplains employed by the Horse Guards, and for the military; for our colonial fellow-subjects; for prisons in Ireland, lunatic asylums, poorhouses, and county prisons. He found, also, payment given to schools for teaching the children of Jews. The principle on which these grants for education were given was, that the money was not the money of Protestants only, but contributed by all the subjects of the realm; and they were given on the ground that the education of the children was a national concern, that they were receiving a moral and religious education which was conducive to the improvement and advantage of the State. In 1829 they passed the Emancipation Act; in 1831 they sanctioned another enactment which added immensely to the power of Roman Catholics in Ireland; in 1844, Roman Catholics were appointed members of boards for superintending charitable trusts; and in 1845 they sanctioned the measure of Sir Robert Peel with respect to Maynooth. Were not these successive measures a tacit recognition that Roman Catholics had obtained their political rights, not by underhand intrigue or violence, but by the constitutional voice of their representatives in Parliament. They had compelled them to grant those political rights, they had compelled them to acknowledge their national religion, they had wrung from them these concessions one after another, and the present was not so much a question of an annual grant for the purpose of educating the priesthood as an acknowledgment that the national religion of Ireland was a matter of national care, and had the same right to protection as other denominations. They must look at this question as statesmen, and not as sectarians. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire had said that no man in that House was more tolerant with respect to his Catholic fellow-subjects than himself. He (Mr. Horsman) must confess that in that case he hardly knew what was meant by the expression of "Protestant toleration of our Catholic fellow-subjects." They must remember that the population of these islands, the subjects of Queen Victoria, were divided in their religion; that in England the majority were Protestants, and in Ireland Catholics; if they took the population of the two islands, undoubtedly the majority would be of the Protestant faith, but if they took the population of the whole Christian world, they would find an immense majority of Catholics. How, then was the question to be settled, seeing that neither would defer to the arguments of the other party? Were the two parties to be drawn out against each other in perpetual hostility? That system had surely been tried long enough. Up to the year 1829, they tried all they could do by severity and proscription; since 1829 they had tried what they could effect by conciliation, and, as experience had shown, with the greatest possible success. Since 1829 they had attempted to adapt the legislation to the real condition of the country, and the attempt had been followed by the most important results. He could not see on what ground the grant to Maynooth was to be regarded as a matter of favour which the Government were entitled to withdraw at pleasure. Neither the number nor the character of the Irish people, who, after, passing through a long period of adversity and distress, still remained the equals of Englishmen in all the qualities that stimulated ambition or commanded success, warranted such an inference. They were not the people so inferior either in number or qualities that we might condescend to "tolerate" them. He totally repudiated the word. The hon. Gentleman had endeavoured to draw a distinction between the population and the priesthood of Ireland. True, he had paid some compliments to the Catholic population, but he had qualified those compliments by strong censure, and, with regard to the priesthood, he (Mr. Horsman) felt that great injustice had been done them on account of their having taken part in political contests. Now, in estimating the character of the priesthood, it must not be forgotten that Ireland had been for centuries torn by faction, that the religion of the people had been strenuously attacked, and that it was therefore natural that the priests should come forward to the van and be foremost in the battle. Besides that, circumstances had drawn the Irish people and the Irish priests into unusually close relations. To whom had the peasant had to look for centuries? They could not say that the landlord had been his friend. They had been estranged by the difference in their faith. Nor could it be said that the law had been his friend, for he had long known the law only by its privations and its proscriptions. Nor could he look to the Government as his friend; for the only experience he had had of its action was for a long period in its penalties and severities. In such times as these the peasant not unnaturally felt that the priest—sprung, be it remembered, from his own rank—was the only friend he had to look to. And he believed that in his efforts to promote the well-being of those committed to his charge, the Irish priest had done his duty conscientiously and assiduously. In all their trials, in all their difficulties, in all their dangers, there had existed the closest tie between the priest and the peasant, and he believed, whether acting right or wrong, it had always been the desire of the latter to promote, as much as possible, the welfare of the Irish population. He did not hesitate to say, that he sympathised with every faith that was the object of persecution, and with every man who was the victim of oppression. So far from thinking it was necessary to apologise for the course he had taken, it was for hon. Gentlemen opposite to apologise for the course they had taken. It was for those to apologise who had made Protestantism the cloak for injustice and the instrument of wrong, and who had exhibited it to the world in invidious features. It was for them to show that their practice was conformable to the principles of the religion they professed. Persecution had been a heavy blow and great discouragement to Protestantism in Ireland, and the more he venerated his religion the more he would elevate it by attending to those precepts of charity and justice on which he thought it was founded. Vindicating for himself the right of judgment, he would give that right freely to all who differed from him. It was in the interest of peace that he opposed this Motion, because he thought the religion he professed was the religion of peace. It was for the interest of charity and good will that he opposed this motion, because charity and good will were the precepts of religion in which he was brought up, and the more he venerated that religion, and the more he desired to uphold, elevate, and exalt it in the eyes of others, the more he wished to have it admired as the instrument of peace, instead of being detested as the emblem of injustice. The hon. Gentleman the Member for North Warwickshire had thought it necessary to make some observations with respect to the time at which he had brought forward this Motion, and he (Mr. Horsman) must also say, that the time he considered was most inappropriate. They now, for the first time they could remember in the history of Ireland, witnessed a degree of peace, prosperity, and tranquillity, such as they had never before beheld. After years of every kind of suffering and calamity a ray of sunshine had appeared in that country, which some years ago they could not anticipate. The peasantry were industrious, the proprietary were thriving, there was peace where there had been war, there was security where there had been danger, there was no political agitation, everything, as far as they could see, promised a future which it was impossible to look forward to without hope and satisfaction, and he felt it was unfortunate on such an occasion that these causes of dissension, discord, and strife should be raised, in connection with a question the most dangerous of all, because it was connected with the religious susceptibilities of the nation. The hon. Gentleman had spoken of the safety of the Throne, the integrity of the empire, and the happiness of the Queen's subjects as being involved in this question, and he threw on the House the responsibility of rejecting it; but he (Mr. Horsman) said let the responsibility of bringing the subject forward fall upon the hon. Member. Let his be the honour and glory of sowing dissension and discord where peace now prevailed, and of raising all those questions which it had been the desire, the aim, and the effort of successive statesmen for years past to endeavour to set at rest. He (Mr. Horsman) and, he hoped also, the majority of that House, were prepared to take on themselves the responsibility of promoting that system of legislation which he thought had conduced to uphold the character of the Legislature and of the nation, and to vindicate and raise our national religion in times not without difficulty. He trusted, that in times of peace and prosperity to Ireland they would enjoy the fruits of having wisely and impartially administered the affairs of Ireland, and that they might be able to say of the Queen of England, that it was her glory in peace and her strength in war, that she reigned in the hearts and spoke with the voice of a well-governed and united people.


, said, that as this question had been brought before the House, it was impossible for any hon. Member to avoid pronouncing a judgment and opinion on it. Though, as a member of the Established Church, he could not concur in the doctrines of the Roman Catholics, he was ready to argue this question as the right hon. Member the Secretary for Ireland had put it—simply as a political question. The right hon. Gentleman had said that the House was now called on to disendow what had been endowed under the peculiar circumstances of 1795. But the Motion of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire would not touch the Act passed at that period, which did not endow at all, but was simply permissive, enabling the parties to receive subscriptions and donations for the voluntary support of the college. Subsequently, annual votes were passed as donations, but this Motion merely called upon the House of Commons to take into consideration the present endowment out of the Consolidated Fund, which was created by the Act of 1845. With respect to the priesthood of Ireland who were educated at that college, what had been the description given of them by the noble Lord opposite last year, when the Motion was made with respect to the Six-Mile Bridge affair? He admitted that if any clergyman in England had done half what the two priests then had done, the country would have been convulsed from John O'Groat's to Land's End; and, in answer to an hon. Gentleman, who naturally inquired why they were not prosecuted, the noble Lord said that, perhaps, they were not worse than any other of the priests in Ireland. What had been the further description given by Lord Clarendon in his celebrated letter to Lord Shrewsbury? It had been said that the Index Expurgatorius was not enforced in Ireland. If so, why had Bailly's book been expelled from the College of Maynooth? The evidence in 1825 and 1855 was not very consistent. With regard to the bull, In Cœ;na Domini, one witness is asked whether it was in force in Ireland? He said it was not. On being asked why, he answered, because the Roman Catholic bishops examined in 1825 had said so. But did they? Dr. Doyle, in his examination, insinuated that the bull was not in force, that it had been rejected in every Christian country in Europe. He was asked, was it in force in 1793? He said it might have been and subsequently, but that it was not then in force. But what did Cardinal Erskine say to Sir John Cox Hippesley in 1793? He told him that it was in force in all cases where no impediment existed. Therefore, it was in force always in Ireland. But that bull was the standard of all the cases reserved to the Pope; and, moreover, it raised the most important question of all —what was the canon law adopted in Ireland? He (Mr. Napier) challenged any man to say authoritatively what the canon law was as it was in force in Ireland. The professors of Maynooth taught it without any restriction; but in a compilation of authentic references, to which the name of the Vice Chancellor of Cambridge was appended, he found that the canon law, as taught in Maynooth, was largely in conflict with the constitution of the country, and that it established in temporal matters the Pope's spiritual authority. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Horsman) said the Pope had no temporal power in these countries; but this volume showed that it was a supreme spiritual power in temporal things; and the Gallican Church, which understood the case better than the right hon. Gentleman, had taken the distinction between temporal power and power in temporal things. One of the witnesses was asked if the Pope had any power over conscience. He said, no, except it was a case of conscience? But, in the answer to the next question, he declared that the canon law was the rule of conscience, and no one would tell what the canon law was. The professor was examined as to the body of that law published by the Bishops in 1832, and asked whether the bull, In Cœna Domini, was reprinted in it. He said it was, but that his copy had been printed in Belgium. The Irish Roman Catholic Prelates had, however, given their sanction to its publication, and there were plenty of copies of it in Ireland. With respect to this grant to Maynooth, the Government and Parliament had got into a false position, and they must get out of it, whatever might be the consequence. Great importance was attached to the election of free students for Maynooth, but by whom were they elected? By Dr. Cullen, and the other ultramontane archbishops, who were appointed specially by the Pope. He was the Pope's legate, and was appointed the head of the Synod held in Ireland. The first thing he had to do in that capacity was to administer an oath to every member of the Synod, by which they were bound to obey the Pope and enforce the Canons. So that they had these men in effect swearing that they would carry out the canon law. He would appeal to the common sense of the House whether they would support an institution by means of which they would enable these men to spread ultramontanism and carry out the canon law, which was declared to be contrary to the laws of this country? It might be illegal to act according to the canon law, and might subject the transgressors to punishment. Why, then, he would ask, should they go on educating people in error, and allowing them to be taught to obey the canon law, and then afterwards punish them for doing so? Looking at the question as a matter of policy and of plain common sense, he would ask whether the Act of 1845 had turned out satisfactorily? He believed it had not, and that it was, therefore, well worth their while again to reconsider the subject. He could very well understand many persons saying—"We don't give this money for the purpose of teaching erroneous doctrines, but we give it to enable the Roman Catholic priesthood to get a better secular education, that they might be more qualified than they now are to minister to the Roman Catholic population of Ireland." The State policy of this measure of the Maynooth grant was first to get a domestic and well educated priesthood, in order that the people might not be left in the hands of those who were not competent to teach them; and the next object was to have a loyal body of men attached to the constitution. But had they succeeded in these two objects? With regard to the first, the evidence showed how it had failed; and, in respect to the second object, he had shown that the students of Maynooth were taught to recognise the whole body of the canon law without check or control. He thought that Parliament was in such a false position that nothing could save them but a frank and searching review of the past, which should be done in such a way as would respect the rights of all parties. They had tried a great experiment. A Commission had been issued to ascertain whether, as a matter of State policy, that experiment had succeeded or had proved a failure. He thought that the result of the labours of that Commission showed, as far as the grant to Maynooth was concerned, the failure of the experiment. But, looking at the grant in another point of view, he could not help regarding it as an insult to the Roman Catholics of Ireland. It was, in fact, offering a bribe of 30,000l. a year to keep the Roman Catholic clergy quiet. He hoped the House would consent to go into Committee to consider the proposition of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire; but if, when it should be laid before them, it should appear to him that it could not be carried into effect consistently with justice, he should be the last man to give it his sanction.

On the Motion of Mr. Serjeant O'BRIEN,

Debate adjourned till Wednesday, 6th June.