HC Deb 15 April 1856 vol 141 cc1049-104

presented a petition numerously signed by the Protestants of Dublin; a petition from the Edinburgh Auxiliary to the Scottish Protestant Association; a petition from more than 1,000 of the inhabitants of Edinburgh; a petition, very numerously signed, from the inhabitants of Leith; and a petition from the members of the Scottish Protestant Association, signed by the two Secretaries, against the grant to Maynooth College. These petitions stated that the petitioners think the principles of the Church of Rome are opposed to God's Word, and detrimental to the interests of the State, and they cannot acquiesce in the national endowment of Maynooth, which they believe to be a stronghold of error and superstition. The hon. Member then rose to move— 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. Frequently as he had brought this all important question under the notice of the House of Commons, he confessed that he entered upon his task on the present occasion under circumstances of greater difficulty and greater embarrassment than had ever occurred to him before. The difficulty he was now placed in was this—that so often had he laid those reasons before the House which had led him to the conclusion that the repeal of this grant was essential, that if it depended on himself only he should prefer going to a division on the question without further debate. But he feared that the gentlemen opposite would not consent to that course, and thus he was compelled to occupy the time of the House. The second difficulty under which he had laboured was whether he ought not to have renewed the Motion for a Committee to inquire into the dealing with the evidence taken before the Maynooth Commissioners before it was presented to Her Majesty and to Parliament. In the debate last Session he asserted, and it was admitted by the noble Lord, that the evidence taken before the Commissioners had been sent to Rome before it was communicated to Parliament and Her Majesty. He certainly did think that this gross breach of confidence on the part of the Commissioners would have formed a fit subject for farther inquiry, and he did think that Her Majesty's Government would have found it to be their duty to make this inquiry, and also into the fact that prohibited titles to Roman Catholic ecclesiastics were there attributed, and allowed to be so attributed by the Commissioners. That the evidence of the witnesses had been tampered with. The witnesses were allowed to alter their evidence, and a larger field for correction was given than was customary; so that, in fact, the evidence in the Report was not the evidence that the Commissioners first received. It was impossible to say that these matters were not of importance; for when a Report was made on evidence so contradictory, and so much mutilated, it was not worthy of the least consideration. He thought that this was a question into which the Government ought to have instituted inquiry, but that if he moved to renew that inquiry this Session, it would operate as a bar to his bringing before the House the still more important question which he was about to submit to their consideration for the repeal of the grant to Maynooth; he had, therefore, made his election, and had resolved to move for the repeal of the grant. He had been informed by an hon. and learned Friend who was decidedly opposed to him, that he had heard there was a sort of conspiracy between himself, the Ministers of the Crown, and the Romish Archbishop of Dublin, not to go into the investigation of his (Mr. Spooner's) charge of the improper dealing with the evidence, though the professors of Maynooth were very desirous of such investigation, and that he had yielded to the persuasion of the so-called Archbishop. He was surprised the hon. and learned Gentleman should have attached any importance to such a rumour. For his own part, all he thought it necessary to say was, that this was the first word he had heard about it, and he gave it a flat contradiction. He would now endeavour, as shortly as he could, as he was not desirous of taking up the time of the House by repeating arguments which had been so often and so fully urged, to state his reasons why he thought the House should consent to repeal this grant. He would first call the attention of the House to the Report of the Commissioners before he proceeded to notice the evidence. A more remarkable document than this Report was never before laid upon the table of that House. The Commissioners, at the outset, state that they thought it to be their duty to make inquiry as to the teaching of Maynooth with respect to matters connected with the interests of the State and to matters in which the interests of morality were concerned. Some in which temporal, some in which spiritual authority was included, such as allegiance to the Sovereign, the obligation of an oath, and questions of like nature, together with other questions relative to the confessional. This was a part of the Commissioners' Report. They say— On these points we can do little more than place the evidence generally before your Majesty, and leave it to produce its own impression, Now, the impression on his mind was, that the evidence was contradictory from beginning to end. That the witnesses succeeded in deluding the Commissioners, and so made the investigation a mockery and a sham. He thought it was clearly the duty of the Commissioners to enter fully into the investigation, not seeking only for information from persons in the College, who would be influenced by what they were taught, and who were bound by their tenets to say nothing injurious to the interests of their Church. He contended that such doubtful, contradictory, and unintelligible evidence ought not to have been laid before Parliament or Her Majesty without comment on the part of the Commissioners. Speaking with regard to the confessional examination, the Commissioners said that— It had been proved to be a most dangerous subject, but that it was confined to Maynooth to a short period, and that every security was taken against its abuse. Everybody who knew anything of the system of the confessional could say whether it ought to be supported out of the taxes of this country. The Commissioners went on to state— That they had no reason to believe from the evidence that it had had, practically, any injurious effect on the minds and characters of the students. But if hon. Members would give themselves the trouble to examine into what is known and published as the practice of the Romish confessional, he felt assured that they would come to the conclusion that it was of necessity "injurious" in its effects to the minds of all that were subjected to its power. In referring to the evidence, further on, he found that the Rev. Mr. O' Hanlon, president of the Dunboyne establishment, denied that "the Pope, or Church, had any temporal power, direct or indirect." In another part of his evidence the rev. gentleman admitted a distinction between temporal and spiritual affairs, and that some matters were necessarily not purely spiritual nor purely temporal. In answer to another question, the witness stated that every vote for a Member of Parliament might become a spiritual question, because it might have reference to the commission or avoidance of sin. He also found him stating, and his statement was confirmed by many other parts of the evidence, that he would be warranted in with holding the sacrament of the Church from a man by reason of his preferring one candidate to another, because a priest was bound to withhold the sacrament from a man who purposed to commit a sin. First, it was said that a vote was a temporal matter, but that it might become a spiritual matter, because it might lead to the commission of sin; and that if the priest believed it would lead to the commission of sin, he was at liberty to withhold the sacrament. He wished to know whether such a doctrine was in unison with the allegiance which they owed to the Sovereign, or whether it was right that a Protestant nation should pay for the teaching of such a doctrine?

The persons examined by the Commissioners were persons whose tenets, if they honestly held the doctrines taught at Maynooth, compelled them to equivocate, if equivocation was for the benefit of their Church. That was proved by the books at Maynooth, and more especially in the works of that celebrated and canonised author, St. Alphonsus de Liguori, and this was a question which that House ought well to consider and closely to examine. One of the persons examined, the Rev. Mr. Burke, had been educated at Maynooth, but, having seen the error of his ways, had become a convert to the Protestant faith. Mr. Burke had been five years at Maynooth, and gave evidence of the open and undisguised disloyalty which he witnessed at Maynooth in 1829. He also stated that he, as a student, was "a rebel of the first water," and that "he had prayed for the destruction of the British Empire merely because it was Protestant." He further stated that the College was a hotbed of sedition; that he entered it a loyal subject, and left it a rebel. The Commissioners had, nevertheless, stated that they had found no evidence of disloyalty or any want of true allegiance to the Sovereign as resulting from the education at Maynooth. Another gentleman, now a clergyman of the Church of England, the Rev. Mr. Leary, with whom he had the pleasure of being acquainted, a man of high character, conscientious, upright, and who would not speak beyond the truth, stated that he had entered Maynooth in 1830 and had left it in 1837; that the impression kept up among the students was, that the reigning King of this country was a heretic and out of the pale of salvation; that allegiance ought not to be observed towards him, because the Throne was occupied to the exclusion of Roman Catholics, and that to render allegiance in such a case would be injurious to the eternal welfare of their souls. Such was the impression kept up among the students at Maynooth. This gentleman further stated that the general opinion of the College was, that the Pope had direct power over Kings, inasmuch as the souls of subjects were of more value than their worldly possessions—that it was expressly laid down in Bailly's book that the Pope had direct and supreme authority over all kings, and that the prominent idea among the students was, the universal supremacy of the Pope. They had, nevertheless, been told that no evidence had been produced to lead the Commissioners to believe that anything was taught to weaken allegiance to the Crown, and that everything was carried on at Maynooth in accordance with the principles on which it was founded. He had read the evidence carefully, and his decided opinion was, that the evidence of the professors had been got up purposely to deceive the Commissioners, and that they had deceived them. Other evidence ought to have been taken, and attention ought to have been given to the books used, a list of which had been given by the Rev. Mr. M 'Ghee, who ought himself to have been examined before the Commissioners. These books contained the leading doctrines that were taught at every Roman Catholic College. They were formally deposited in the Bodleian and in the library of the Cambridge University, and at Trinity College, Dublin, and certificates had been produced from persons in autho- rity in all these Universities, testifying that the extracts from them in Mr. M Ghee's work were correct. The Commissioners had not said anything about the monstrous doctrines that were taught in one of these books on the subject of equivocation for a good cause; of what was defined as a good cause, and on the subject of confession. He could not venture to describe these books further than to say that they were such as no young person ought to read. Yet the wives and the daughters of Roman Catholics were bound to submit to the abominable system there indicated. These were grounds amply sufficient to justify the House in refusing any grant to Maynooth. Upon what ground could the granting of money for the purchase of such works and for the teaching of such doctrines be defended? He would advise hon. Members to read the book published by Mr. M 'Ghee on this part of the subject. The other day his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Stamford (Sir F. Thesiger), in the debate on the Oath of Abjuration Bill, had referred to a collection of bulls made for the use of the Propaganda at Rome. Dr. Paul Cullen had lately published a selection of these, and two of them actually contained a denial of the title of the House of Hanover to the Throne of these realms. It was asserted in those bulls that there were numerous successors to the Pretender to be found among the Roman Catholics on the Continent. The first volume contained an address to George III. on his accession in 1760, and breathed a spirit of affection and loyalty; but in the previous year, 1759, Clement XIII. had addressed a letter to the Pretender, styling him King of Great Britain, and apologising for not having mentioned His Majesty's name on appointing a person to a see in Ireland, but pledging himself that the omission of the Pretender's name would not injure, or be regarded as any derogation of his right of nomination as King of Great Britain. He inferred from those proceedings in 1759 and 1760, that a system of deception had been carried on, and that while the Roman Catholics were openly professing loyalty and affection to George III. they were underhand doing all they could in favour of the Pretender. A selection of these bulls had been published by the Pope's Legate in Ireland—an office and title, he might remark, altogether illegal, and which ought to be taken notice of by the law officers of the Crown. In this selection by Dr. Paul Cullen it was stated, in a letter to Cardinal Fransoni, that it had been arranged for the use of the College of the Propaganda at Rome, "in order that all might be in readiness that might appertain to the right and expeditious management of affairs." In another part of the letter it was stated that the edition contained for the first time all the apostolic letters, "the necessity or opportunity of consulting which, may easily occur in the course of managing affairs by the Sacred Council." The first edition was dated 1745—the very year of the last struggle of the Stuarts for the Crown—and the last 1841. Of the letters in the time of George III., eight were selected for the use of the Propaganda, and of these, two ignored the right of the House of Hanover to the Throne. There could be no doubt that this condensed code of papal canon law had been published at the time in question with the view, if possible, of throwing doubt upon the succession to the Throne. Another point he must refer to. Among the books formerly taught at Maynooth was Bailly's work. In that work a doctrine not over-pleasing to Rome, and quite contrary to the doctrine of Dr. Cullen, was laid down, to the effect, that a marriage might be perfectly valid though merely a civil contract, and without being celebrated by the Church of Rome. The result was, that that book was now prohibited, and was no longer taught at Maynooth. Coupling that fact with the documents published ignoring the right of the House of Hanover to the Throne, it was clear that something was in preparation against the Crown and constitution. They might rest assured that Roman Catholics meditated claiming the right of succession to the Throne of this country for members of their own persuasion. They had told them that they did not mean to be contented with what they sneeringly called toleration; they aimed at supremacy, and when they succeeded in this, they would doubtless use their utmost endeavours to uproot the Protestant succession. They meant to make the attempt, and blind, indeed, must those persons be who did not perceive that such was their object. While Roman Catholics were making their preparations the Government of this country were yielding step after step to their demands, and one demand complied with, only led to another. According to the doctrines taught at Maynooth, and the teaching of which was paid for by Pro- testants, no honest Roman Catholic ought to be content till they put themselves on a par at least with the Protestant Church of this country. He hoped, however, that the Protestants of this country would always be ready to maintain the constitution in Church and State which the blood of their ancestors had purchased for them. If they did not resist, if they yielded every demand made upon them, the day would come, though he might not live to see it, when the present dynasty would be overthrown. He wished to direct the attention of hon. Members to the first Commission of Inquiry—most ably presided over by the late Sir Frankland Lewis, father of the right hon. Gentleman opposite—into the College of Maynooth. They were then compelled to give a list of their books, but such was the conflicting nature of the evidence, that the Commissioners pronounced no opinion on the question, and contented themselves with giving the evidence only. That Inquiry, presided over by the right hon. Gentleman before named, was far more searching and much more ably conducted than the last inquiry. Then, as he stated, a list of books, and some account of the doctrines inculcated were given, but now no list of books had been required or given; and, as to the teaching of the professors, they very coolly told the Commissioners that no account could be given of it, from books, or otherwise. Could anything be more insolent? Would Parliament consent to continue grants for the education of public instructors, when all information as to the doctrines inculcated was thus unjustifiably denied? He alluded to that part of the question in order to point out the system of aggression which had been pursued. The noble Lord opposite must be conscious of the dangerous and unconstitutional influence which had been brought to bear on the Government of this country. The noble Lord professed not to know it, but they ought to look at the noble Lord's acts—to regard their tendency—and to test the character of those on whom the noble Lord had conferred appointments. If the noble Lord was unconscious of the feeling which had influenced him he could tell him that the whole country believed that it was fear of certain Gentlemen below the gangway that had led him to make an appointment disgraceful to the Government, and injurious to the best interests of the country, against which the whole country cried out, and the effect of which would recoil on those who had so unnecessarily yielded to the pressure of a certain section in that House. He was determined to do everything in his power to put an end to the national support of a system which the Rubric at the end of the office of the Holy Communion of our Church declared to be "idolatry to be abhorred of all Christian men." He quoted the words of our Church. The 31st Article of the Church also declared that the sacrifices of the mass were "blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits." Yet that was the system which Protestants were called upon to support out of the taxes of this country. If they sanctioned this system they would be disregarding the oaths which they had taken. He would now quote from a public print a paragraph illustrative of the feelings with which the Holy Scriptures were regarded by one of the Maynooth-educated priests. It was from the Dublin Daily Express of 29th of November 1855, and had reference to the Bible burning, for which a prosecution was instituted and failed. The language of the Rev. Mr. M'Evoy, parish priest of Kells, in reference to the transaction was— Would you know what is the nature of the charge recently made? It was that of committing to the flames a thing which pretends to be the Bible, but which is a vile and blasphemous perversion and corruption of the Word of God. It was for committing to the flames a volume which if I myself, in the absence of Attorneys General and Solicitors General, were going to commit to the flames, I should take it up with a pair of tongs for tear of soiling my fingers, and so with the tongs would I hurl it into the consuming fire. Such was the language used to a large meeting by one of the Maynooth-educated priests, and for whose education this country had paid. Unless hon. Members shook off the influences which had acted upon them of late years, and considered what the priests of the Roman Catholic Church were about at that moment, they would be compelled to relinquish that high position which as Protestants they had occupied for the last century in this country. They would be compelled to sacrifice the bulwarks of their faith and liberty for which their forefathers had bled. They would be betraying the trust reposed in them, and committing a crime which they never could expiate, if they did not withstand these aggressions and cease to give support to a system which was designed for their overthrow. He had taken the oath of allegiance, and he felt bound by that oath to oppose in the strongest manner the maintenance by the State of such an institution as Maynooth. They required the Sovereign to take an oath to maintain the rights of the Protestant Church as by law established. Was that to be done by calling upon the Sovereign to consent to grants of money to priests who taught such doctrines as those to which he had referred? He could show from the evidence contained in the Appendix to the Report to which he had called the attention of the House, that the Romish priesthood maintained the punishment of heresy to be justifiable; and he must contend that if the power of that priesthood were suffered to go on increasing, the security of the Sovereign upon the throne would be imperilled. Anybody who had read the evidence could not fail to perceive that the Church of Rome was at present divided into two sections—the Ultramontane party and the Gallican. Now a great struggle was going on, the object of which was to bring Maynooth within the influence and domination of the doctrines upheld by the former section, and the leaders in that struggle were Dr. Wiseman and Archbishop Cullen. How far the introduction of those doctrines into this country was consistent with its prosperity and in accordance with the maintenance of sound Protestant principles, it behoved hon. Members before they came to a decision upon his Motion that evening carefully to consider. He was sorry to find that a right hon. Friend of his (Mr. Walpole), who, from conversations which he had had with him, as well as from statements which he had made outside the walls of that House, seemed to doubt whether the House of Commons was not bound, in consequence of what had taken place in 1845, and in the observance of good faith, to continue the grant to Maynooth—was not in his place that evening. He regretted his right hon. Friend's absence, because he was of opinion that he should have been able to prove to him that there was no good foundation for the supposition that Parliament was pledged to the continuance of the grant in question; and upon that point he was supported by the authority of the late Sir R. Peel, by whom the measure of 1845 had been introduced and carried through that House. That statesman, when proposing that measure, had made use of the following words— 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."—[3 Hansard, lxxix. 37.] It was proposed as a free gift, in full confidence that the professions of those who received it would be observed, and with the view to give Ireland a higher class of Roman Catholic priests. Those professions had been broken, and that object had not been attained. There was no promise. The House was free to act, and under those circumstances it was their duty to withdraw the grant. He would appeal to hon. Members to lay their hands upon their hearts, and say that the priesthood of Ireland had, in consequence of the liberality of Parliament, become a more loyal and submissive class of men, or that in an intellectual point of view they were superior to those who had existed previous to 1845? Let those who were acquainted with the management of elections in Ireland, and its results, and who had to deal with those who, out of doors, went by the name of the Papist Band in that House, speak out, and say whether the priesthood in that country were such as Sir R. Peel had hoped to see spring up, and intended to support, or whether the exact reverse was not the case; and tell the House, as they must if they spoke the truth, that the anticipations of that Statesman had been miserably disappointed—let them candidly state that in their opinion no contract exists which it was in the slightest degree binding upon the Legislature to maintain. He should, while upon that point, call the attention of the House to the words of a high living authority—he meant the noble Lord the Member for London. That noble Lord had, on the 3rd of April 1845, the same day upon which Sir R. Peel had made use of the words which he had just quoted, observed, in reference to the proposed grant— 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 reli- gion 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 he justified in declaring that it would give no further allowance."—[3 Hansard, lxxix. 91.] Such was the declaration of the noble Lord the Member for London; and he (Mr. Spooner) would ask those who possessed an intimate knowledge of Ireland, whether they dared get up and say that the priests educated at Maynooth were not the "leaders of rebellion"—that they were not doing all they could to subvert society and loosen the tics which bound man to man. If the answer to that question was in the affirmative, as it must be, then was Parliament no longer bound to continue the grant;—nay, more, it became their solemn duty to refuse its payment from that moment. He was sure that the priesthood educated at Maynooth were not clear of the charge which the noble Lord the Member for London made against them;—he wished he could be as sure that the Government would, in the true Protestant spirit, throw themselves upon the country with regard to this question. The echo of the country would undoubtedly satisfy them that they need not fear the pressure of Gentlemen below the gangway, but might act determinately, as they ought to do, for the preservation of the constitution in Church and State. He would trouble the House with an extract from an authority which no one upon the other side of the House would repudiate. He referred to the historian of the day, who, writing unshackled from party views, had portrayed in vivid colours the results of Popery all over the world, as compared with Protestantism. Mr. Macaulay stated that— From the time the barbarians from the north had overrun the western empire until the revival of letters, the influence of the Church of Rome had been favourable to science and civilisation, but that during the last three centuries its effect had been to stunt the human mind, to sink the most fertile provinces of Europe into a state of barrenness and slavery, and to cast over their inhabitants a species of intellectual torpor, while the influence of Protestantism had tended to turn into gardens countries proverbial for their sterility, to foster free institutions, and to promote intellectual advancement. That was the opinion of a man who did not speak from mere impulse, who could not be accused of entertaining feelings hostile to his fellow-subjects upon the score of religion, and who could discern clearly the causes of national greatness or decay. There was, however, another right hon. Gentleman to whose writings he might also refer in support of his view of the question before the House—he alluded to his right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford. In the work of his right hon. Friend, entitled The State in its Relations with the Church, occurred the following passage:— The support of the College of Maynooth was originally undertaken by the Protestant Parliament of Ireland in the anticipation, which has since proved miserably fallacious, that a more loyal class of priests would be produced by a home education than by a foreign one, and that a gradual mitigation in the features of Irish Romanism would be produced when her Ministers were no longer familiarised with its condition in continental countries where it remains the religion of the State. Instead of which, it has been found that the facility for education at home, has opened the priesthood to a lower and less cultivated class, and one more liable to the influence of secondary motives. It can hardly be denied that this is a well-merited disappointment. If the State gives anything of pecuniary support, it should in consistency give everything. Unless it is bound in conscience to maintain the national Church as God's appointed vehicle of religious truth, it should adopt as its rule the numbers and the needs of the several classes of religionists; and in either aspect the claim of the Roman Catholics is infinitely the strongest. In amount this grant is niggardly and unworthy. [Hear, hear, from the Roman Catholic Members.] Hon. Members should not cheer so soon. In principle it is wholly vicious, and it will be a thorn in the side of the State of these countries so long as it is continued. In these days of limited and unlimited liability it was not, perhaps, to be wondered at, that the right hon. Gentleman opposite (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) should indulge in an unlimited amount of repose—[Loud laughter]. But he should beg to call the right hon. Gentleman's attention to the extract which he was quoting. It proceeded as follows:— When foreigners express their astonishment at finding that we support in Ireland the church of a small minority, we may tell them that we support it on the high ground of conscientious necessity for its truth; but how should we blush at the same time to support an institution whose avowed and legitimate purpose it is constantly to denounce that truth as falsehood! If, indeed, our faith be pledged to the College, by all means let us acquit ourselves of the obligation; but it is monstrous that we should be the voluntary feeders of an establishment which exhibits at once our jealous parsimony, our lax principles, and our erroneous calculations. Now, he would ask with confidence, whether events had not proved the views of his right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford to be correct, and whether the influence of the Irish priesthood had not been used in a manner which clearly showed the calculations of the authors of the measure of 1845 to be erroneous. In making those remarks it must be borne in mind that his observations were founded on the accounts of what took place in Ireland, and not upon the conduct of the Roman Catholic gentry in this country. They, indeed, were a different class from some of their brethren on the other side of the Channel; and, being well acquainted with many of them, he could state that they strongly disapproved in many instances of the acts of the Irish priesthood. There were in Ireland, too, he was informed, gentlemen of the Roman Catholic persuasion who entertained similar feelings, and equally condemned the conduct of the priests. To endeavour to conciliate the priesthood of that country, men whose principles.—if, indeed, they had any principles—would not permit them to be conciliated, was too vain and futile. He would tell the noble Lord at the head of the Government to his face that an insult had been offered to the Protestant gentry of Ireland by circumstances which had lately taken place; and he trusted the noble Lord, instead of yielding to the influence of hon. Members below the gangway, would boldly announce his resolve to stand by true Protestant principles, and to uphold unimpaired our Protestant Constitution. If the noble Lord were to take that course, then would he have the voice of the country in his favour, and seize the opportunity of becoming one of the most popular of English statesmen. For his own part, in dealing with the question of Maynooth as he had done, he had simply acted in accordance with his honest convictions; and although he might not obtain that support from some of those hon. Members sitting on the benches behind him which he was entitled to expect, yet to those convictions he must, until he saw good reason to abandon them, continue to adhere. The existence of party he deemed to be essential to the attainment of important objects, and he should therefore support his party so far as he could do so without forfeiting principle; but so long as he had the honour of holding a seat in that House, he should, laying aside all party considerations, never cease to raise his voice against that system of submission to Popery which he believed to be unworthy of the State and injurious to the best interests of the nation. He had no ambition to gratify, in pursuing this great question. His age limited his ambition; and his only object was, to perform his bounden duty to himself, his country, and his God. The hon. Member concluded by submitting his Motion to the House.

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.


seconded the Resolution.


said, the hon. Member for North Warwickshire had spoken disrespectfully of the consequences and effects of the teaching at Maynooth. Now, he (Mr. M'Cann) wished to know what would have been the consequence at Inkerman, if the Roman Catholic soldiers, who had been taught by those priests whom he had so reviled, had not done their duty? Why, it would have been a much more disastrous thing than it was, and no doubt would have resulted in Sebastopol remaining in the hands of Russia. He felt certain, the hon. Gentleman did not mean to insinuate by his speech that we Catholics were disloyal, but as it might be inferred from what he had said, he (Mr. M'Cann) begged to inform the House that the Catholics of Ireland, who had been taught by the priests educated at Maynooth, had shown during the late war their loyalty by the blood they had shed, and the courage they had displayed on the battle-field; and the Irish Roman Catholic Members of that House had given as hearty a support to Her Majesty's Ministers in carrying on this war, as had the representatives of any other portion of the Empire.


rose to move as an Amendment, the addition to the original Motion of the words—"and at the same time to take into consideration the other Parliamentary grants made to religious denominations in Ireland." The hon. Member said that as the original Motion had only reference to one of the grants for religious purposes, the Amendment of which he had given notice, was limited to the same objects, and was not proposed with any view of interfering with the Established Church of Ireland: but before he proceeded to give his reasons for proposing it, he would state to the House the amounts that were granted by Parliament to the several religious denominations in Ireland. In 1853 a grant of £33,981 had been made to the members of the Presbyterian Church, holding the principles of the Church of Scotland; a grant of £2,226 to the Remonstrant Synod of Ulster, of the Arian, or Unitarian faith; of £937 to the United Presbytery or Synod of Munster, also holding Arian views; and of £900 to the Presbytery of Antrim, also holding Unitarian views. Those four sects comprised about one-tenth of the population of Ireland, and received in the shape of grants a sum amounting in the total to £38,044 a year. In the same year the Roman Catholics received £26,360 for Maynooth College, and the revenues of the Established Church amounted to about £700,000 per annum, the adherents of which not comprising one-seventh part of the population. Now if the relative number of the various sects who enjoyed those grants were taken into account, the injustice of the distribution of the money of the State in their regard would, he thought, be rendered perfectly evident. It appeared from a report which had, in the year 1834 been issued by the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the subject of Public Instruction that the number of the members of the Established Church was 10¾ per cent; of the Roman Catholic Church, 81 per cent; of the Presbyterians, 8 per cent; and of other classes of Dissenters, ¼per cent of the entire population of Ireland. Since that Report had been issued, however, the population had, owing to the famine of 1846–47, and the consequent emigration, been greatly decreased, and that decrease had operated principally in the case of the Roman Catholic portion of the community; so that the proportion between the numbers of the various religious sects had undergone considerable alteration. That proportion now was as follows:—Members of the Established Church, 13 per cent; Roman Catholics 77 per cent; and Presbyterians, &c., 10 per cent of the whole of the inhabitants. Now, the public money annually expended upon all those religious sects amounted to £764,404, and that sum being divided among the different families of those several sects would entitle each family connected with the Established Church to £5 8s.; each Presbyterian family to 6s. 11d.; and each Roman Catholic family to only 8¾d. per annum. No one could say that on the principle of essential justice this was a fair apportionment of money taken from the common stock to be divided among the different sects in Ireland. If it was objected to give money for the support of the Roman Catholic establishment at Maynooth, might not the Roman Catholics object with equal reason to give sums for the support of Presbyterianism and the Established Church? The general fund from which all these grants were taken was contributed to by all sects and parties, and there was not a person who smoked a pipe or took a cup of tea who did not give his portion towards that general fund; and yet it was the very persons who received the proportions of 6s. 11d. and £5 8s. per family, in the way of religious endowment, who complained of the small sum of 8¾d. per family voted to the sect which composed the body of the people. He had sometimes seen Mahomedans and Hindoos sitting under the gallery of the House and listening to the debates, and he could easily conceive that if one of these were listening to such a debate as the present, and were to ask, "what is it all about," and were told that it was only the Christians quarrelling among themselves as to the amount of money each sect should receive from the common funds for the support of their religion, and that those who received a grant of £5 8s. per family were endeavouring to withdraw the grant from those who are receiving 8¾d. per family, he would be apt to say, "You must be in a mistake, it must be those who are getting only the small pittance, who are insisting on an equitable division. It appeared to him that Maynooth had a stronger claim to its endowment, on the ground of contract or statutory provision, than had the Presbyterians to their grants, which only proceeded, as far as he was aware, from the mere voluntary benevolence of the country; whereas, with regard to the grant to Maynooth there was an honourable understanding at the time of the Union; and, finally, the endowment was sanctioned and confirmed by the memorable Act of Sir Robert Peel. He did not mean to argue that one Act of Parliament might not repeal what had been done by another; all he contended for was, that if a selection of a grant for withdrawal was to he made, the grant to Maynooth had a higher claim to be retained both in consequence of the contracts which had taken place with respect to it, and in the essential justice in which it is founded. As far as he was aware, the strongest objections to the endowment of Maynooth were based on the consideration that Romanism was unfavourable to civil liberty, and secondly, that Protestants ought not to he called upon to support what they regarded as a false religion. With regard to the first of these opinions, he must candidly acknowledge that, as far as he had been able to see, Romanism had not been favourable to civil liberty, for such of the monarchs of our country as had acted despotically had generally found aid in the Roman Catholic religion; and in those countries where Romanism was in the ascendancy the rod of oppression fell heaviest on the people. Wishing to state the case honestly, he would tell the Irish Roman Catholics that if, instead of agitating for impracticable objects, they would get up a monster meeting and pass Resolutions against intolerance and persecution wherever they might be found, and if they would endeavour to get their hierarchy to use their influence for the establishment of religious liberty in those countries in which the Roman Catholic religion prevailed, they would do more to disarm the opposition of Protestants than they could do by any amount of indignant remonstrances. But he believed that the great objection to the grant to Maynooth, and that which weighed most on the minds of the petitioners against it, was, that it was directed to the maintenance of a religion which they regarded as heretical, a religion which they say is dishonouring to God, and dangerous to the souls of men. This appeared to be at the bottom of nearly all the opposition to the grant. But as Roman Catholics consider Protestantism heretical and dangerous to the souls of men, the same objection would in their minds apply to a grant in favour of Presbyterianism; and, indeed, he believed that some Protestant Episcopalians regarded Presbyterianism as little better, if not worse, than Romanism. The grounds on which this grant is opposed are the very grounds on which the Inquisition lighted the fires of the auto da fé. The Inquisition, no doubt, carried persecution to its extreme limits; but whatever stigmatises, or degrades, or inflicts injustice on account of religious faith, is persecution, though in a smaller degree, and he was persuaded that there was only one way for putting down a religion by persecution, and that was by a stern unrelent- ing extermination such as that which had suppressed Protestantism in Spain, in Portugal, and in Italy. Where persecution stopped short of that degree, so far from putting down a religion, it only promoted it. What was the reason that Episcopalianism was the prevailing creed in England—Presbyterianism the prevailing creed in Scotland, and Romanism the prevailing creed in Ireland? It was because Episcopacy had been persecuted in England, Presbyterianism in Scotland, and Romanism in Ireland, without having been persecuted to extermination, and if they were to repeal this grant to Maynooth, so far from weakening Romanism in Ireland, they would only strengthen it; they might then send their missionaries, and their thousands of Bibles and tons of tracts, but the hearts of Catholics would be barred against the reception of Protestant truth. He wished to ask the House whether they would in this instance act on the principle of political justice, or on the principle of persecution; for he held it would be persecution to use their power for the purpose of raising one sect and depressing another. He for one was prepared to do justice to all, and he believed that his views were strictly consistent with the principles of Protestantism. He had heard a good deal in this House about this being a Protestant country and a Protestant Parliament; but what was to be understood by those phrases? Was it not just this, that the great bulk of the people of this country and the great bulk of the Legislature were Protestants? But he could not help doubting if they really were so, because Protestantism, so far as he understood it, consisted in allowing every man a right to exercise his own private judgment in the matter of religion, without suffering, personally or politically, on account of it; and whoever resorts to measures of coercion of any kind to advance one sect and depress another has denied the Protestant faith, and is worse than an infidel. In conclusion, he had to thank the House for the indulgence with which they had listened to him upon that occasion. He had been unwilling to let the opportunity pass of frankly expressing his sentiments upon a subject in reference to which he had himself had to run the gauntlet through much prejudice and misunderstanding.

Amendment proposed, at the end of the Question to add the words, "and at the same time to take into consideration the other Parliamentary Grants made to Religious Denominations in Ireland."


said, he rose to enter his protest against the course which the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner) thought it his duty to pursue on this question. The hon. Gentleman had sought to convert the British House of Commons into an arena for discussions only calculated to excite angry sectarian strife and polemical passion, and had sought to make his own intolerant opinions the rule which should guide the deliberations of the most enlightened assembly in the world. The sum total of the hon. Gentleman's objections to Maynooth was simply this, that he considered it a national sin for a Protestant State to support and countenance an institution which taught the Roman Catholic religion. It was really painful to argue with one who unfortunately permitted prejudice and bigotry so completely to obscure his reason. That objection, as well as all the old absurd stories and accusations against the Roman Catholic religion, which he delighted to rehash up every Session, had been so often and so thoroughly refuted upon former occasions, that it would be a mere waste of the time of the House to attempt to refute them again. But he would put this question to the hon. Gentleman, and it was one that, as a true and conscientious Protestant, he was bound to answer. He would ask him, what right had he to constitute himself a judge of what was religious truth and what was religious error? Should he, who gloried in the right of private judgment, take upon himself to condemn the religion, not only of many millions of Her Majesty's most loyal and most faithful subjects, but the religion of a large majority of the Christian world? But what did the hon. Gentleman propose to do? Why, completely to take away from the Roman Catholics of Ireland that institution which had not only been a matter of compact at the time of the Union, but, which had been maintained by every successive Parliament from that time to this. What said Mr. Perceval in the year 1812? He said he supported the grant as it stood, because it was one of those which the Parliament of Ireland had thought it wise to preserve at the time of the Union—because he found it in fact handed over to England as part of the Union. And did the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Warwickshire really wish that House to take such an ungenerous advantage of the power transferred to it at the period of the Union as to break through a compact which had then been so solemnly made? But, again, he said it was useless to argue that question. The hon. Gentleman was so blinded by prejudice, that it was useless to bring before him facts which no unprejudiced man would attempt to deny. There was one other observation he had to address to the hon. Gentleman, and he certainly would not address it to him by way of offence. He would ask him to ponder and weigh well, whether the course he was at present pursuing—supposing his Motion to be successful—was one calculated to uphold and strengthen the Protestant Church in Ireland. There a wealthy minority possessed the whole of the religious endowments of the country; the most eminent statesmen had in the most emphatic terms condemned that establishment; and although the grant for the education of those who were really the priests of the Irish people presented so paltry an appearance in comparison with the vast revenues of that Establishment, that grant was not only grudged, but denounced as a national sin. He felt convinced, that if the House would bear in mind how the wealth devoted to the purposes of religion in Ireland had been taken from the Catholic Church—the Church of the people of Ireland—and transferred to the Established Church, they would never be parties to such a crying act of injustice and breach of faith as the adoption of the Motion then before them would involve.


said, he felt bound to deny the accuracy of the statement of his noble Friend who had preceded him, that the maintenance of the grant to Maynooth had been in any way guaranteed at the period of the passing of the Act of Union; and even if there had been any such compact, it would have expired twenty years ago. The Act of 1795 simply gave power to the Roman Catholics to institute a college for the instruction of their priesthood in order to avoid the necessity of their being sent abroad—and the compact at the time of the Union was, that all grants usually paid by Parliament should be continued for twenty years. But the maintenance of the Protestant grants for education, on the other hand, had been expressly provided for in the Act in question, and had become one of its essential conditions. He believed the Protestants of Ireland were at present sub- jected to a gross injustice; for while they had to contribute to the endowment of Maynooth, they were themselves unable to obtain the assistance of the State for the education of their children unless they abandoned their conscientious opinions. And even under the system of national education in Ireland, supported as it was by the public money, it was not merely the ordinary kinds of instruction that were given, but the children in the convent schools were employed in work which ministered exclusively to the splendid performance of the Roman Catholic rites and ceremonies. The following passage from a Report of one of the School Inspectors would show how the public money was in some cases administered:— EMBROIDERING IN GOLD.—Besides the industrial branches already mentioned, embroidering in gold has been lately introduced here. This is a species of female industry that is, I believe, solely confined, in this country, to this institution. It consists in working the rich altar and pulpit robes, and ornaments used in the services of the Roman Catholic Church. The ladies showed me a most superb canopy, composed of white satin and gold, which they were working per the order of the Rev. Dr. Spratt. The design and execution of this piece of art appeared of surpassing excellence, and confers the highest credit upon those by whose taste and industry it was produced. At present these articles are only obtained from France, and that at prices very high indeed: but the ladies of this convent, animated with the generous desire of benefiting their poorer countrywomen, have now introduced this work into Ireland, where, should it succeed, it will be the means of keeping large sums of money in the country, which otherwise must be expended in a foreign land. Thus this experiment, even in a commercial point of view, is of considerable importance, independent of the benefits it will afford in the cultivation of native industry and talent. I have, in common with many others, seen, from time to time, some fine imported specimens of the work in question, but none of which, in my mind, come up to the beauty, taste, and high finish which characterise the various elegant articles manufactured in this institution. The great argument advanced in favour of Sir Robert Peel's measure was, that it would improve the priesthood of Ireland, and that for the future they would be men who would endeavour to infuse a better spirit into the Roman Catholic population of Ireland. Had those anticipations been realised, he would ask? Since the passing of the Act of 1844, the circumstances of Ireland had very much changed. The taxation of the two countries had been very much equalised. Ireland now paid taxes from which she was formerly exempt, and the Protestants of Ireland, therefore, now contributed towards this grant. Against this, as the representative of an Irish Protestant constituency, he protested. The population of that country had been reduced by nearly one third, and the college of Maynooth, instead of being confined to the training of Roman Catholic priests to meet the wants of Ireland only, had been converted into a nursery for recruiting the clerical ranks of that Church throughout the whole British empire. That was scarcely consistent with the purposes of this endowment, the more especially as the Roman Catholic body, by means of its "Society for the Propagation of the Faith," had other funds at its command for supporting its own missions throughout the world. From the following evidence, however, given by the Rev. Mr. Moriarty, it would be seen that clergymen who had been educated at Maynooth were sent out as bishops and as missionaries to India and to other distant countries:— There are some bishops of the Roman Catholic Church at present, are there not, in the East Indies, who have been students at Maynooth?—Yes,three. Will yon mention their names?—Dr. Carew, archbishop in Calcutta; Dr. Fenelly, bishop in Madras; and Dr. Murphy, bishop in Hyderabad. Are you aware whether there are any other bishops in Her Majesty's foreign possessions who have been students from Maynooth?—Dr. Murphy, who is Bishop of Adelaide, in South Australia; Dr. Smith, the late Archbishop of Port of Spain, Trinidad, was educated at Maynooth, but as an extern; he was educated, I believe, as an extern, because being avowedly intended for the foreign missions, he would not be admitted ns a member of the college. He was allowed to lodge in the town of Maynooth, and to attend the Lectures. That was the only instance that I know of an extern student having been educated at Maynooth. He died about two years ago. At page 160 of Appendix to Report, the names are given of twenty-four priets educated at Maynooth, and now in England. Had they, any of them, gone out from Maynooth prior to their appointment?—The Bishop of Hyderabad went out as a priest from Maynooth; the Archbishop of Calcutta and the Bishop of Madras went out as bishops from Maynooth. From this country, you mean, do you not, not from Maynooth?—No; I mean from Maynooth. One was a professor of theology in Maynooth when he accepted the appointment, and another was a bursar. Is it within your knowledge that any of the Roman Catholic clergy, having cures in Ireland, have gone out with emigrants from this country to the United States?—I know that numbers within the last seven or eight years, having cures in Ireland, have gone to America in consequence of the emigration of their people. It was said that if the House were to agree to that Motion, they would be taking a step dangerous to the permanence of the Established Church in Ireland. But that Church stood upon too strong a foundation to need the aid to be derived from the false tranquillity which might be secured by a continuance of the Maynooth grant. The fact was, that Protestantism was steadily making way, and Roman Catholicism was losing ground in Ireland; and it was well known that that creed was losing ground still more in the United States of America, under the influence of a system of greater religious freedom, for it was grievously complained by the Roman Catholic authorities in Ireland that large numbers of Roman Catholic emigrants were constantly renouncing its communion when they arrived on the other side of the Atlantic, and numbers of the clergy of that Church had left their cures in Ireland and had gone to America in consequence of the emigration of a large portion of their flock. In the United States the Roman Catholic bishop of Charleston had declared that there were 1,800,000 people in America who did not belong to the Roman Catholic Church, and who must have belonged to it if they had followed the faith of their forefathers. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire had ably dealt with the doctrines taught at the college of Maynooth, and certainly the tendency of the education there was to spread discord among all classes of the community in Ireland. The clergy educated in that establishment had never shown any disposition to bring the members of different sects in that country amicably together, but, on the contrary, had constantly endeavoured to separate Roman Catholics as a class from Protestants as a class. Throughout the whole course they had pursued, they reminded him but too well of the language of the Roman satirist:— ——Accipe nostro Dira quòd exemplum feritas produxerit ævo. Inter finitimos vetus atque antiqua simultas, Immortale odium, et nunquam sanabile vulnus Ardet adhue Ombos et Tentyra. Summus utrinque Inde furor vulgo, quòd Numina vicinorum Odit uterque locus; cùm solos credit habendos Esse Deos, quos ipse colit. He was well aware of the difficulty which the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Warwickshire must encounter in pressing that question on the attention of Parliament, while a single Member would be prepared, perhaps, to occupy the House for a whole evening; but whatever might be the fate of the Motion in that House, it must be borne in mind that the public out of doors had long come to a deliberate decision upon it. He had no hesitation in saying that the feeling of the people of England was that this great Sebastopol of the Church of Rome must be erased, and no longer be allowed to remain a standing menace to the Protestantism of England.


said, he would appeal to the diligent manner in which the noble Lord who last sat down had refreshed his recollection of Ireland as a proof that his speech was a well-prepared oration and not that impromptu effort of patriotic Protestantism for which he had wished it to pass. He (Mr. Fagan) did not wish to advocate the continuance of the grant to Maynooth on the ground of an ancient contract. The noble Lord had contended for the repeal of the grant on the ground that he represented a Protestant constituency, who considered that, as both countries were now taxed in the same proportion, and as the money paid out of the Consolidated Fund was drawn equally from the pockets of the English and Irish people, it was unjust and unfair that they should contribute anything towards the maintenance of Maynooth. He (Mr. Fagan) denied that any favour whatever was conceded to the Catholics of Ireland in this grant, for it was nothing but a miserable and contemptible tithe of restitution for the property taken from them and handed over to the Protestants. Did the noble Lord deny that the property taken from the Roman Catholics of Ireland amounted to £700,000 a year? Did he not know that the Church Establishment in Ireland was very different to that of England—that in England, when the Protestant religion was established by force of law, the great majority of the people went over to the new religion, and the property of the Church was fairly and properly transferred to them; but that, in Ireland, the people refused to forsake the old faith, and that, in consequence, their property was wrested from them by violence, and given to the Protestants? The noble Lord had asserted that the College of Maynooth was devoted to the purpose of educating persons for the Roman Catholic priesthood who were not intended to afford religious instruction to the people of Ireland, but to propagate their faith in other countries—but he (Mr. Fagan) would assert that there was no foundation whatever for the libellous attack of the noble Lord upon the Roman Catholic priesthood of Ireland beyond his own strong prejudices and excited imagination, and he was unable to adduce any proof in support of his allegations. He must say that, while he was ready to admire the consistency of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner) on this subject, he regretted that he had chosen such a moment to agitate the question. We had just brought a great war to a termination. Catholic France, Catholic Austria, and Catholic Sardinia, Protestant England, and Protestant Prussia had shaken hands with orthodox Russia, and all had agreed to forget their feuds. And yet this was the moment which the hon. Gentleman chose to rake up religious discord and sow disunion not only between Catholics and Protestants in England and Ireland, but in other countries also; for it was not to be supposed that the effect of these Motions was to be confined to England alone. He well knew what was the feeling among our brave and faithful allies, the people of France; and those who supported this Motion were greatly mistaken if they supposed that the people of France were not deeply sensible of this annual insult which was offered to their religion by the continual agitation of this subject. The Catholic army of France, who fought with us at Alma, who came so bravely to the rescue of our Guards at Inkerman, and who helped by us to storm the defences of Sebastopol, keenly felt the insults and reproaches which were cast upon their religion in the debates upon Maynooth. But the Catholic religion had borne oppression for eighteen centuries without dismay. Its believers were, in spite of all opposition, increasing in numbers every day; and amid all phases of persecution it had presented a front which justified its motto, Esto perpetua. It was the religion of 200,000,000 of the human race. It was extending itself to the furthest limits of civilisation—though old it was still young; and he believed that, in the eloquent language of the great modern historian, it would "exist in undiminished vigour, when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul's." He had this faith in its vitality, because he was persuaded that any man who believed in its doctrines, and adhered to its ordinances, must be a good Christian and a loyal subject, He should like to know on what grounds of justice the voluntaries combined with the hon. Member for the abolition of the Maynooth Grant. He (Mr. Fagan) professed himself as much in favour of the voluntary principle as any one; he believed it to be a high and noble feeling which associated men together for the purpose of teaching themselves and others their duty to God; but he firmly believed, and would always maintain, that the voluntary principle could not be carried out in Ireland. That country stood in a different position to England. In England there existed a wealthy middle class dissenting from the Established Church—such, for instance, as the Methodists, who, some years since, subscribed between £100,000 and £200,000 for the purposes of their own religion. In Ireland the spectacle presented itself of a Church establishment of some £500,000 or £600,000 a year for the benefit of a rich class, and with which the great mass of the poor had nothing in common and were left to shift for themselves. The voluntary principle in Ireland was incapable of maintaining a sufficient number of Roman Catholic clergymen in Ireland for the religious instruction of the people; and if Protestants could not convert the people of Ireland to their own religion, it was their bounden duty to assist them in the acquirement of those high moral doctrines which no one denied to the Roman Catholic faith, and which were adequate to the repression of the frightful crimes that sometimes disgraced that country. With respect to the emigration from Ireland of some of the Roman Catholic clergy educated at Maynooth, he would admit the truth of the statement, but he could also testify that it had been absolute poverty which had driven many of them to seek the means of existence abroad. As regarded the civil obligations, and the essential duties of man, there was not any difference between the teaching of the Roman Catholics and the doctrines upheld by hon. Members opposite, and it was the duty of that House to give to the Roman Catholic clergy every opportunity of teaching the people the great principles of social order. The Members of that House, viewing the question as politicians and statesmen, would not be justified in opposing the grant. The hon. Member concluded by expressing his entire disapproval of the irritating discussion annually held on the Maynooth question, and he trusted that whatever might be the result of the division, it would for ever terminate the subject, and that all parties, forgetting their theological differences, would combine in advancing the material and moral welfare of the Kingdom. He would vote against the Motion.


who rose amid cries for a division, said, he did not rise for the purpose of making a speech, because he had a great dislike to public discussions on the subject of religion. He was no admirer of the Roman Catholic religion, but as long as the Established Church in Ireland was kept up in its present form, he could not vote against the grant. He should, however, support the Amendment of the hon. Member for Edinburgh.


said, that the College of Maynooth had been charged with educating persons on principles hostile to the interests of the country and of the Government. If, however, the grant to Maynooth were to be withdrawn, he was desirous that the promoters of that proceeding should base their opposition to it upon true grounds, and not upon false premises. An inquiry had been made into the educational system pursued at Maynooth, and Maynooth had been acquitted of the charge. Had the Motion been brought forward on the ground that the Roman Catholic clergy efficiently discharged their duties, or in consequence of the number of persons who, since the agitation of the question, had passed from the Protestant to the Roman Catholic Church, he (Mr. T. Kennedy) could understand the grounds of the Motion, but he could not do so upon those urged by the hon. Mover. He held in his hand a list of persons who, in the period between January 1849 and 1855, had abandoned the religion supported by this country, and passed to that of the Roman Catholic Church. That list included the names of three duchesses, one marchioness, two countesses, four viscountesses, eight right hon. ladies, one right hon. earl, three right hon. viscounts, five right hon. lords, one right hon. baron, four right reverends, one right hon. knight, five honourables, five hon. mistresses, one hon. miss, ten baronets, two venerable archdeacons, one very rev. divine, eighty-five reverends, six Members of Parliament, and 272 gentry of distinction. He thought a greater degree of charity might be extended to a religion to which so many persons became associated, in consequence of the investigation of truth. Whatever opinion the House might express upon the Motion before it, one of three principles must exist with reference to the Roman Catholics of Ireland; priests must either be educated at Maynooth, or abroad, or, worse than either, not at all. Hon. Members had their choice between the first two alternatives, or absolute infidelity owing to the absence of all religion. The number of the Roman Catholic teachers who sustained the system of State education was 4,690, whilst that of the Protestant teachers was but 341. Yet these Roman Catholic teachers must, in some way, be religiously educated, and how were they to provide for that if they took away the means? This was a question which he based upon its connection with education, and he would ask whether it was better to teach those who were to instruct the people, or to leave them to pick up their education as they might? On that ground he would oppose the Motion of the hon. Gentleman.


did not wish to trespass on the House, but he desired to call the attention of the House to the inconsistency of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, who having expressed a wish for an early division, and admitted that the question had been so thrashed as to preclude the possibility of an original observation upon it, did not reduce his principles to practice by making his Motion and at once resuming his seat, but dashed into the wide field of speculative theology, took a fling at the priests, denounced auricular confession, criticised the writings of Mr. Macaulay, and glanced at half-a-dozen topics besides, all of which he touched with that light and airy gracefulness which was the enchanting characteristic of his oratory. Nor did he stop there. He made assertions, which could only be met with denials equally authoritative. He made one assertion which the hon. Member for Abingdon (Sir F. Thesiger) had ventured to make on a former occasion, namely, that Roman Catholics were opposed to the Protestant succession, and disposed to sanction a return to a Catholic Sovereign. That statement involved a question of fact which could only be met by a simple and unqualified denial; it was manifestly and entirely untrue. The hon. Gentleman opposed the grant on the ground that the religion taught at Maynooth was inconsistent with good government, sound faith, and Christian morality. That was the hon. Gentleman's opinion, which he was of course at liberty to hold, but was a great national institution to be disendowed simply because the hon. Gentleman enter- tained a theological hatred for the religious opinions of his Roman Catholic fellow-subjects? He (Mr. De Vere) did not think the House was prepared to endorse such principles. If the State withdrew this grant, the Catholics of Ireland, poor as they were, would make every sacrifice to educate the members of their Church for theological purposes. They would look to the east and west for aid. They would appeal to the sympathy of Catholic powers abroad, and they would organise all the necessary means of raising a tribute from Ireland for the education of their clergy. He would remind the House that a large sum could not be raised from an impoverished people without agitation, and he would ask them whether they were prepared to renew a system of agitation in Ireland of which they had seen the effects before? He was sure the House would not accede to the Motion of the hon. Gentleman. They were bound by every consideration of policy, of justice, and of gratitude not to do so. With regard to the Amendment of the hon. Member for Edinburgh (Mr. Black), which proposed to take away the Parliamentary grants from other denominations as a compensation for the loss of the Maynooth endowment, he could only say that if the Established Church was left untouched the Roman Catholic would not consider the withdrawal of these grants a compensation. He warned the House that if they acceded to the Motion they would renew a system of agitation of which it would not be easy to foretell the end.


Sir, the House is indebted to the hon. Member (Mr. Spooner) for bringing forward this subject, whatever may become of his Motion; and it does not matter much whether it fails or whether it succeeds. It is of importance that the subject should be discussed. I am afraid, however, that the hon. Member will not consider that I am serving his cause when I say that on the religious part of the question I quite differ from the views he has enunciated. It would be a great grief to me if I thought that would ever take place which some persons seem to consider a consummation most devoutly to be wished—namely, that the Irish people should, by giving up their religion, come to be of no religion at all, as they do in America. I do not think that the Irish when they emigrate to England are any the better, simply because they lose their religion, and in America they are certainly the worse for it. But, Sir, I do not think that the theological part of the question is that with which the House is competent to deal. The only part of it which is worth their consideration is the moral teaching of a set of Gentlemen whom, for the sake of brevity, I will call Popish priests. If their teaching is immoral, it is a question whether it is worth our while to pay men for teaching it. The hon. Member who has just sat down says that if the Irish clergy are not educated here they will go abroad. No doubt. But then we shall not pay for it, and that will make all the difference. Now, it is not what my opinion is, nor what is the opinion of any Protestants, of the doctrines which the Church of Rome has now come under. What has been the opinion of Catholic States—nay, what has been the opinions of the Popes upon this teaching? For, I suppose that no Gentleman in this House—whatever the priests may say out of it—fancies for a moment that the Popes never alter their opinion. Why, Sir, it has been the universal opinion of Europe that these doctrines were incompatible with the well being of States; and hence the teachers of such doctrines have been turned out of every country on the Continent. And now I am not going to quote Liguori, I have quoted him often enough before; but I will say, I wish that every Roman Catholic gentleman would carefully read Liguori—and, perhaps, indeed, as there is at the present day a great fit for examinations, it would be as well to make a rule that every Roman Catholic Member should be examined in his writings. He is the only writer of whom the Catholic Church has declared, ex cathedra, that he never wrote a word of error. What a blessed thing it must be to read six volumes of bad Latin in which there is not a word of error. Now, I am not going to read a word of Latin, good or bad; but I have got an English book here—a book published a few days ago for one penny—containing some choice morceaux. It is entitled What every Christian should know. Fancy that for a penny. Now, this is one of the things which "every Christian should know:" "It is a sin to mix something with what you sell." So I should think. The hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Scholefield), and others who are members of the Adulteration Committee, will agree in that. But what follows? "Except there is a common custom, and it is necessary for giving a reasonable profit." Why, we have heard of roguish grocers who mixed sand with their sugar: but I never heard that they did it from an abstract love of sand, but only to get a reasonable profit. But again, there is something in this litttle book about stealing— It is a venial sin to steal a little (a pocket handkerchief, perhaps, might be considered 'little'), but it is a mortal sin to steal much. For example, a day's wages from a poor man. Far less will be mortal sin if taken from a poor man than from a rich man. If you steal from different persons and at different times it also makes a difference. And to steal a little a great many times may be a mortal sin. Then there is something as to oaths)— If you call God to witness that what you say is true, it is an oath; but if you do not know what you say is an oath, or do not mean to take an oath, it is not so. So that the witness may draw the distinction in his own mind as to his intention.[Several MEMBERS: No, no! it does not mean that.]It does not mean that! Well, what does it mean, then? I have read the words. And will any one deny that this is what Liguori teaches—any one who has read him? I am sorry we have lost Mr. Lucas. He was a Roman Catholic who knew what his Church taught, and was not ashamed of it [Mr. BOWYER: hear, hear!] Hear, hear! Does the hon. Gentleman mean to say that such are not the doctrines of Liguori? Does he mean that I impose on the ignorance of the House? He knows how disagreeable it is to read bad Latin to the House, and I will not do it. These are the doctrines of the priests, and if they were acted upon it would be impossible to carry on the government of States, and the ultimate result must be that all human society must come to an end. But they are not acted on; for there is a principle of truth in all men, in Roman Catholics as well as in Protestants, which tells them that they are not to act upon them to please the priests. And it is upon that I rely—not upon what you call your "Protestant principles;" as if any one on earth knew what they were! They merely amount to this—men choosing their own opinions; which comes to this, men having their own way. If that is not a "Protestant principle" I do not know what is. And there is nothing in that Protestant principle that can stand against the Papacy, simply because in Papacy there is one fixed principle—its one aim and end is to bring all other religions under subjection, and it is not any of your Protestant sects that can stand against it. You have nothing to look to but the increase of civilisation and education and the honourable feelings common to all men. It is to this you have to look, and there is no danger from all the colleges whatever. They are what they have ever been. But the priests are not what they have been. Look at the oaths taken before the House of Lords at the time of Catholic emancipation. Did they not all say that if the Pope presumed to select a bishop not recommended by them they would not obey him? Well, what have we seen lately? Why the Pope appoints whomsoever he pleases. It is a pity, Sir, the Government will not do what I long ago called upon them to do—that is, to do in office what they talked about when out of office. I know well that it is hopeless to expect public men to do so. But the whole question of the two Churches in Ireland must be settled in some way or other ere long. I know not whether it will be by carrying this Vote or in any other way. But I believe that though it may be a triumph to carry it, and do away with the Maynooth grant, with that grant will go something else you do not want to go.


said, he referred the hon. Member for West Surrey to the votes of the Roman Catholic Members in that House. They had always been given in favour of civil and religious liberty. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire had gone over his old story again, and said he objected to the endowment because the teaching was idolatrous. The hon. Member ventured in his own human fallible opinion to attach the name of idolaters to millions of his fellow-creatures. He ventured to apply that name to our brave allies, and their sovereign the Emperor of France. He (Mr. Meagher) was surprised no Member of the Government had yet spoken. The endowment of Maynooth had been treated by Sir Robert Peel not as a boon to Ireland but as a measure of state policy. It was, therefore, not a question between the hon. Member for North Warwickshire and the Irish people, but one between him and the Government, and he would urge upon Parliament not to disturb the arrangement which had been made by that eminent statesman, unless better reasons were assigned for that step than had hitherto been given.


said, that the House were not now asked to endow the college of Maynooth—that had been done long ago, and successive administrations had supported the endowment. After a long lapse of time Parliament was now asked to reverse this policy, and to withdraw the grant. This, too, they were asked to do neither by the Government nor by the Opposition; for it was a very noticeable fact, that not one of the leading Members of the Opposition party were present to give the Motion his support, and the benches of the Treasury were equally empty. Those who agreed in nothing else, agreed in declining to support this Motion. This was a remarkable proof, that every man who had felt, or who thought himself likely to feel, the responsibility of a Minister refrained from connecting himself with this proposition. With such negative testimony against the Motion, the House, before adopting it, ought to require very cogent arguments in its favour. No such arguments had been adduced, but very exciting assertions had, indeed, been made. The most serious charge made by the hon. Gentleman against the education given at Maynooth was, that it was inconsistent with loyalty to the British Crown and attachment to the British constitution. Nothing in the Report of the Royal Commissioners supported these assertions; on the contrary, the Report of the Commissioners, and the evidence on which it was founded, instead of warranting, entirely disproved that charge. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Spooner) had quoted the evidence of several witnesses, but he had not referred to that of Dr. Butler, a convert to Protestantism, who had been educated at Maynooth, and who had stated that the priests who were trained there were quite as loyal as those educated on the Continent, and had entirely contradicted the accusations as to the immoral tendency of their teachings. The practical result of the training given at this college was proved by the conduct of the priests on two different occasions, separated by an interval of half a century. In the Rebellion of 1798, which occurred before a single priest educated at Maynooth had entered on his mission, the priests were the leaders of the insurgents. But at a much more recent period, after two generations of clergy had issued from the college, a very different result had ensued, and the influence of the Roman Catholic clergy had put down the rebellion. That this was so he would appeal to the authority of Mr. Smith O'Brien, who in a conversation with John Mitchell attributed his failure to the cowardly and treacherous conduct of the priests, who, he said, on two or three occasions, when the people seemed to be gathering in force, came whispering to the crowd till it melted away like the silent thaw of snow. That was a statement which no one could question or deny. Such had been the beneficial results of the policy of the Government in supporting the establishment of Maynooth, and yet they were told that that establishment was the hotbed of sedition. Had the Roman Catholics, whether clergy or laity, been deficient in their loyalty during the recent war? They had not been deficient in supplying their prayers, their persons, or their purses, to that struggle. At Alma, at Inkerman, and at Balaklava, thousands of Roman Catholic soldiers had bravely done their duty, while the Roman Catholic chaplains, attached to the Roman Catholic soldiery, had exhibited the bravery of soldiers and the courage of martyrs; and he would ask, was this to be their reward on returning to their native country? Were they to find Parliament engaged, not in considering how their valiant services might be duly appreciated, and what should be the meed bestowed upon them, but in these wretched disputes about the education of those Catholic clergy from whom those gallant men derived consolation in the hour of sickness and of danger? Whatever hon. Gentlemen might say of the errors and superstitions of the Church of Rome, she still had attractions sufficient to win back to her fold even such men as Schlegel, Newman, and Wilberforce. The hon. Member below the gangway (Mr. Drummond) said that the doctrine of the Catholic Church was inconsistent with public morality and Government. Did the great Napoleon think so? Did the present Emperor Napoleon think so? Had he not rather endeavourned to conciliate the support of the Roman Catholic Church and the influence of the Roman Catholic clergy? The hon. Member for Edinburgh (Mr. Black) said that the Church of Rome and its teaching were inconsistent with liberty. But was this borne out by historical truth? Look at constitutional and Catholic Belgium. There was no country in Europe in which constitutional liberty flourished with greater vigour and success, and that among an entirely Catholic people. See, again, what had taken place in Sardinia. While in Protestant States constitutional government had proved a failure. In Protestant Prussia the tree of liberty had, it was true, been planted, but it had borne no fruit; while in countries essentially Catholic, whenever constitutional government had been founded, it had prospered. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire had referred to what he was pleased to call Ultramontane doctrines. Now, that might be a very convenient phrase, but it was a very obscure one. There were two meanings attached to it. One class of Roman Catholic theologians ascribed the infallibility of the Church of Rome to the General Council, and the Pope at its head, while another class ascribed it to the Pope independently of the Council. He knew not in which of these two senses the hon. Gentleman used the word; but in whatever sense he used it, he would ask the hon. Gentleman what had he to do with the question? Protestants denied the existence of infallibility altogether. But, he would ask, was this a question worthy of the consideration of the House, or one which could by possibility be made to assume a political character? It was true that ultramontanism was an expression used in another sense, in which it ascribed temporal power and supremacy to the head of the Roman Catholic Church, and it was in that sense alone that the House had any right to deal with it. But he contended that all evidence negatived the charge that there was any teaching at Maynooth which inculcated any such doctrine. It was true that temporal power had been exercised by the Church of Rome in by-gone times, but it had been exercised with the consent of Western Europe. The present constitution of society afforded the best security against the exercise of such a power again. But when hon. Members talked of encroachments by the Roman Catholic Church on the temporal authority, he would ask whether there was no other Church which advanced pretensions to authority inconsistent with a due subordination to the temporal authority? When he was asked to look beyond the Channel, he would request hon. Gentlemen to look beyond the Tweed. Had not the Church of Scotland put forth pretensions to the exercise of temporal powers? He remembered Lord Melbourne once saying, in his place in the House of Lords, that in his opinion the Church of Scotland was as presumptuous as the Roman Catholic church any day. Yes! The presumption of the Church of Scotland had been found to be no obstacle to her advancement beyond the Tweed; while the presumption of the Church of Rome had been made the ground for withholding from her the small fragment of Government aid which in this establishment of Maynooth remained to her. The fact was, this charge of disloyalty was a mere pretext; disloyalty and ultra-montanism were but pretences, the real ground of opposition being that the Roman Catholic clergy were distasteful to the ultra-Protestantism of this country. To use the words of Mr. Macaulay, "the Puritan blood was up," the old No-Popery feeling was alive. It was that which had crowded the tables with petitions and coerced many hon. Gentlemen in their votes. But that was not a cry to which the representatives of the people ought to listen. They should remember that they were not merely the representatives of Protestants; they were the senators and legislators of a great empire, composed of Protestants, Catholics, and Presbyterians, and they could not govern that great empire constitutionally unless they regarded the rights and respected the feelings of the Catholic minority. They were the trustees of a great fund, contributed by all classes and creeds, and they were bound to administer it with judicial impartiality. No claim could be better founded on justice that that of the Catholics of Ireland, not merely for this miserable pittance, but for an endowment suited to the wants of their Church. They maintained in Ireland a Church, the wealthiest in Europe, for the religious instruction of a small and wealthy minority. He was surprised to hear the hon. Member speak of Mr. Macaulay as an historian free from all party prejudice; but if the hon. Member accepted Mr. Macaulay as such, he should come to the same conclusion as Mr. Macaulay with respect to this very grant and with respect to the Established Church of Ireland. They maintained out of the public funds another ecclesiastical establishment for a small minority, He asked them how they could refuse to the Catholics of Ireland an establishment suited to the means, the wants, and the requisitions of the Rowan Catholic people? It was not the Church of the rich and the few—it was the Church of the poor and the many. The refusal to maintain that Church was justified upon no principle, save that the Roman Catholics were, from some undefined cause, inferior in civil rights to their Protestant and Presbyterian fellow-countrymen. He claimed for the Roman Catholics social and religious equality; and it was because this motion interfered with that equality that he gave it his most strenuous opposition. Another reason for the refusal was based upon arguments which he believed were grossly calumnious of the Catholic Church. Having dealt with the justice of this grant, he would direct attention to the practical consequences of its withdrawal. One consequence would be that the Catholic subjects of the Crown, constituting one-third of the population, would consider its withdrawal a declaration of hostility by the Legislature against the doctrines and principles of the Church of which they were members. It would alienate their affections, cause them to withhold their confidence, and inspire widespread discontent, which smouldering like fire in ashes, would be ready at any moment to burst out into flame. Another practical consequence would be, that if this motion were carried it must lead to a reconsideration of the whole ecclesiastical establishments of Ireland; and he asked the supporters of the Motion, whether the Protestants of Ireland would be likely to profit by that reconsideration? These consequences might be thought remote and visionary. He would suggest some which were immediate and tangible. Supposing this grant were withdrawn, and the funds supplied, as no doubt they would be supplied, by private contributions from the Catholics of Ireland, assisted by contributions from the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, they would lose all control over Maynooth and all right of inquiry into the practical education of the pastors and ministers of 5,000,000 of people. [Mr. SPOONER: We should be very glad to give it up.] But would statesmen and legislators consent to give up such control? But there was another, and that a foreign source, from which the supply might come. The House was aware that there existed, and had existed for many years, perhaps for some centuries, in Paris, an institution called the Irish College, for the education of Irish priests. It was founded and endowed by the munificence of the Bourbon Kings. During the revolution it was confiscated, but was restored by the first Napoleon. Up to 1815 the number of students was 145; since that time the number had fallen off considerably; hut if Maynooth were shut up, that institution would only require the necessary funds to attain adequate proportions. In the French capital the funds would not be wanting. Those who had studied the career of the present Emperor would not hesitate to believe that he who boasted himself to be "the eldest son of the Church" would avail himself of an opportunity, afforded by their intolerance, of signalising his zeal for that Church by readily supplying from the Imperial Treasury of France that which was withheld from the Imperial Treasury of Great Britain. Then would rise up within the walls of Pans a Maynooth which no Royal Commission could inquire into and no vote of that House could control or affect. Was that a contingency which hon. Members were pleased to contemplate? Was it consistent with the honour, the dignity, and the safety of England that priests, who were to exercise influence over such masses, should be educated, maintained, or supplied by any foreign prince or potentate? It was to guard against that danger that Mr. Pitt originally established, Maynooth, and that Sir Robert Peel enlarged and permanently endowed it. He hoped those great names had not lost their weight with hon. Members on the Opposition benches. But he had still greater confidence that the British Parliament and the British public would not be regardless of the dictates of reason and the suggestions of policy. He believed that, although silenced for a time by the storm of political excitement, reason and policy would prevail in the end, and that the British Parliament would not allow the rights and feelings of Roman Catholics to be invaded or outraged by the Protestant majority or the representatives of that Protestant majority. He did not now see the leaders of the Opposition present; but if they had been in the House he would have appealed to them to prevent those fountains of bitterness, which it was hoped had been sealed for ever by the Act of 1845, from being reopened. He wished them to use their influence to prevent the recurrence of these painful discussions, which were productive of no practical result except creating division and hatred between hostile creeds. They had on former occasions risen superior to party consideration when national interests were concerned, and he called upon them to rise superior to party considerations in the present debate. He did not know what course they meant to take upon this subject. Maynooth might be a convenient hustings cry and a good Opposition topic; but he would warn them that they would find, if they came to sit upon the ministerial benches—the object he supposed of their ambition—that it would be a serious embarrassment in their course, and that it would be impossible to construct a Cabinet which would endure six months if it adopted the principles of the hon. Member (Mr. Spooner). Whatever course they might adopt he appealed to the House at large, which must wish this country to be united at home and respected abroad. He appealed to them, as they valued a just and sound policy, to reject a motion that would inevitably embitter the feelings of their fellow-subjects and alienate their confidence and affection, which would sow broad-cast the seeds of present discontent and future division, and inevitably inflict upon the rising prosperity of Ireland a deep and lasting wound.


said, he felt assured the House would agree with him that for some time past they had not heard an abler or a bolder speech, on the part of a Roman Catholic Member in defence of this grant than that which had just fallen from the hon. and learned Member for the county of Cork. It was the speech of a Roman Catholic representing the present temper of the Church of Rome. He (Mr. Newdegate) had been informed on good authority that the hon. and learned Member, before he reached the House of Commons, on the hustings pledged himself to do all that in him lay to destroy the Protestant Church Establishment in Ireland. It was for him to reconcile that pledge with the oath which he had taken at the table. But let the House observe the line of argument adopted by the hon. and learned Member. Not only had he publicly declared that he would do all in his power to destroy the Protestant Church as established in Ireland, but he claimed as an act of justice, not this scanty endowment of £25,000 voted as an endowment for Maynooth, but an endowment for the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. [Mr. ROEBUCK: Hear, hear!] He (Mr. Newdegate) admired the candour and boldness of the hon. and learned Member, and he rejoiced that the veil of sophistry hitherto employed by the advocates of the Church of Rome had been dispelled by the speech of the hon. and learned Member (Mr. Deasy). The hon. and learned Member told the House that by the continuance of this grant to Maynooth the Legislature was either convicted of inconsistency, or was bound to endow the Church of Rome with such means and appliances as the number of Roman Catholics in Ireland, in his opinion, and that of those whom he represented, required. The hon. and learned Member had pledged himself to destroy the Protestant Church of Ireland. Thus, as the hon. and learned Member put the question, it stood that it was inconsistent to maintain this grant to Maynooth, unless the Roman Catholic Church should be established in Ireland—the purport of his previous avowal following that it was the object of that Church to destroy the Protestant Establishment in Ireland, and to stand alone in that country. The hon. and learned Member had dwelt on the loyalty of the Roman Catholics; he said that there was a rebellion in 1798, but that in 1848 the Roman Catholic population was loyal. Now the hon. and learned Member must allow him to tell him that loyalty was a qualified term in the estimation of the Church of Rome. No doubt the Roman Catholic Hierarchy were loyal in Austria. The entire control of the education of the country had been made over to Rome, and her authority in Austria at that moment was as supreme as she had ever desired it to be. But he would also suggest to the hon. and learned Gentleman that Rome did not take part in every revolution, for it was not every revolution that it suited her to promote. In that category must be ranked the revolutions which disturbed Europe at and subsequent to the period of 1798. Those revolutions were destined to break up despotisms, and to substitute for a time a species of wild and uncontrolled liberty, which perished through its own unbridled licence and led to another despotism—a despotism that, so far from favouring Rome, held her with a grasp so stringent that she recoiled, to become the suppliant of Protestant England, appealing to the attachment for religious liberty that had always characterised this country. Nor were the revolutions of 1848 more likely to suit Rome; and for the same reason. The tendency of the spirit then awakened was to break up the despotisms upon which the authority of the Church of Rome rested: and with the example of Austria before her it was not likely that Rome would be inclined to foster that spirit. Again, the Revolution of 1688 did not suit Rome. He was far from saying that Rome could not be loyal; but what he maintained, and what was known throughout the country, was, that re- verting to her ancient claims and practices she was now seeking to establish her despotism throughout the world, as she had stamped it upon Austria. The Ultramontane system of Rome, which the hon. and learned Gentleman said, forsooth, he did not understand, was not likely to lead to loyalty in a Protestant country which upheld the right of civil and religious liberty. The hon. and learned Gentleman had called upon Protestants not to withdraw the grant to Maynooth, and argued that, if the Legislature of this country did so, our ally in France would endow the Irish College in Paris, and that Maynooth would virtually be removed from Ireland to Paris. He further warned the House that if the education of the Roman Catholic priesthood were removed to Paris, that education could not be inquired into, and there would be no check upon it held by the Government of this country. Now, to that he (Mr. Newdegate) begged, in the first place, to reply, that, judging from the results of the late inquiry by a Commission, he thought that all such examinations and inquiries might as well be spared. Indeed, the inquiry reminded him of a declaration of Lord Redesdale, contained in a letter to Mr. Perceval in the year 1807. Writing to that Gentleman, the noble Lord said that as chief law officer of the Crown in Ireland he prayed he might be "relieved from the irksome and ridiculous duty of being nominated as a visitor to inquire into the practices and education at Maynooth, as he was placed thereby in a position of absurd nonentity." Now, he thought that the last Commission had most fully borne out the forebodings and apprehensions thus expressed by Lord Redesdale as to his inability as a visitor to Maynooth to render good service to his country. Again, the hon. Gentleman would excuse him for saying that the difference between the Gallican doctrine and the Ultramontane doctrines were not so undefinable or so unknown. It was to foster in the Irish priesthood national feeling, which Gallicanism admits, that Maynooth was founded, and it is that in which the objects of its founders has been defeated. Why, it had actually come to pass that since 1850 the text books of Maynooth had been changed, and books which had been inscribed in the Index as Gallican had been removed from the list of class books at Maynooth, and others of Ultramontane authority substituted in their stead, and thus the object of the endowment, which was the prevention of the introduction of the Ultramontane doctrines into England, had been defeated. There was a certain work of Devoti which had been rejected as a text book about the year 1826, because that author laid too great stress upon the rights of the Church of Rome in temporal matters. The work of Cabbasutius was made to supersede that of Devoti in 1826, because the latter was Ultramontane; in 1855 that is found to have been reversed, and that the work of Devoti has been made to supersede that of Cabbasutius. That was one instance in which an Ultramontane author was preferred to one of more liberal tendencies. Another case of substitution was in reference to the work of Favini, a living author of the Ultramontane school. That work contained an able translation of the writings of Liguori, recommended by Cardinal Wiseman as the best embodiment of Ultramontane teaching. All that had occurred since the year 1850, which was the period when Rome thought fit to break up the system that had hitherto existed in Ireland and this country, and to establish in its place a pseudo ecclesiastical system in accordance with the Ultramontane system. He would ask, then, what did it matter whether the priesthood that was to inculcate Ultramontane doctrines upon the people of Ireland acquired foreign and Ultramontane opinions at Paris or Maynooth? Perhaps in one respect the preference was in favour of their being so instructed at Paris, for then the question might be taken up by the English Government. At any rate, if these doctrines were taught at Paris, the English Government would not be responsible for it; whereas, while such doctrines were taught at Maynooth, the Government of this country were implicated by that fact. He would now call attention to a subject adverted to in a debate upon a Bill for regulating the charges upon the Consolidated Fund introduced in 1854. His hon. Friend (Mr. Spooner) then proposed to introduce a clause that would have had the effect of again bringing the grant to Maynooth under the annual revision of Parliament. The Government withdrew the Bill rather than introduce the clause. But, upon that occasion, he (Mr. Newdegate) called attention to the fact, that in the year 1845 the House had not only voted an annual grant of £26,000 for the maintenance of the college, but likewise a sum of £30,000 for building purposes, and was induced to do so upon the plea that the students were at the time exposed through defective accommodation. That money was consigned to the hands of the trustees for Maynooth, and how had it been applied? Upon that point he had referred to the evidence of Sir Francis Head, who seven years after the date of the grant made a tour through Ireland, and published his narrative of it. Sir Francis Head showed that instead of applying the money to the improvement of the accommodation as it existed—which, according to the Act of 1845, was to be limited to 520 pupils—the Trustees appointed Mr. Pugin their architect, who, instead of repairing the old college, set about building a new one, so that the new building when added to the old ones would contain not 520 but 735 pupils. Now, since the year 1845, the Roman Catholic population had diminished to the extent of at least 1,200,000; so that, by this misappropriation of the funds voted by Parliament, provision was made for the education of 215 priests above the number contemplated by the Act of 1845, although the Roman Catholic population had since diminished. This was not in accordance with the intention of the framers of the Act of 1845? The fact was, the experiment had failed of preventing the Roman Catholic priesthood from being imbued with foreign and Ultramontane principles. It had failed in another way. It was intended only to provide education for a number of priests sufficient for the requirements of the Roman Catholic population of Ireland; but what said the evidence taken before the Maynooth commission? It confirmed the statements made by Sir Francis Head. Thus it appeared that in thus subsidizing Maynooth, this Protestant country was, in fact, providing one-third more priests than Ireland wanted, who would, he had no doubt, be distributed throughout the rest of the British dominions. It was in vain to talk of the dulness of debates upon this question. The fact was, the subject had been debated out of doors, and had been settled in the minds of the people of England, who, without the slightest intention of doing injustice to the Roman Catholics, would no longer consent to inflict upon them a priesthood trained in Ultramontane doctrines, subversive of the liberties of the people, and calculated to attach the priesthood and persons under their influence to a foreign power rather than to the authority of their own Sovereign. The hon. Member for the County of Cork (Mr. Deasy) had been pleased to warn the party to which he (Mr. Newdegate) had the honour to belong, that if ever they hoped to serve Her Majesty as the responsible Ministers of the Crown, they must maintain the grant to Maynooth, and establish the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, with an authority, and in a position adequate to the hon. Member's sense of justice. Now, he would venture to tell the hon. Gentleman that if the occupants of these (the Opposition) benches were so wild as to imagine they could occupy the post of Ministers of the Crown in subserviency to the influence of the See of Rome, they would not sit there as representatives of the people of England. He would appeal to history whether it was likely that the free-born people of England would submit to a Government so debased as one that would act the representatives of a foreign Power in that Assembly. Hon. Gentlemen of the Roman Catholic persuasion, by banding themselves together under the authority of their Church, and by abusing the forms of that House, might render the government of this country difficult; they might embarrass successive Governments; they might, by the insinuations of Jesuits, ingratiate themselves with persons in high station and authority, and succeed in getting converts to their doctrines amongst the upper classes. The best result they had any reason to anticipate from their exertions was, that they might reproduce the circumstances which convulsed this country in 1688; for, if he knew the people of England right, there was still in them the same spirit which was aroused in 1688, and they would again free themselves from the yoke which their ancestors had broken. It was a rash and vain hope on the part of any hon. Members if they fancied that a Government under the influence of Rome would ever be permanently established in this country.


said, that the hon. Member had incorrectly referred to a statement of his. What he said on the occasion alluded to was, not that he advocated the utter destruction of the Protestant Church in Ireland, but that the Protestant Church establishment there was, as at present constituted, a grievance.


said, the hon. Member who had opened this discussion, and the hon. Member who had just sat down, had referred to the possibility of hon. Members being made converts to the Roman Catholic faith; but in anything which he (Mr. Roebuck) might say, he hoped at least that both hon. Gentlemen would acquit him of being under the influence of the Papal Church. Now, he asked, what was it that they had to decide on that occasion? And, in order to consider that question, it was necessary to ask another—what was the history of this grant? History told him that this Maynooth Vote was first granted by a Protestant assembly in Ireland, in the election of which not a single Catholic had a voice. Mr. Pitt took upon himself to maintain that Vote. He stated, at that time, that revolutionary opinions were prevalent in Europe, and he was afraid that a priesthood educated abroad might imbibe some of these principles; he, therefore, proposed to throw upon the Government the duty of furnishing the Catholic priesthood with the means of education. The proposition was sanctioned by a Protestant assembly in England, without any reference to Catholic ascendancy. Then came Sir Robert Peel. He, a few years since, determined that the Vote for Maynooth should be a permanent Vote. His sole purpose was to provide the means of educating Catholic priests in Ireland apart from foreign influence. Lastly came the hon. Member for Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner), and he said they ought to put aside the experience of Mr. Pitt and Sir Robert Peel and follow him. He (Mr. Roebuck) had great faith in Mr. Pitt; he had some in Sir Robert Peel; but he had no faith in the hon. Member. If he (Mr. Roebuck) could understand the principle on which the right hon. Gentleman to whom he had referred came to a decision, it was this. They said that priests educated in England or Ireland would be very different men from those educated abroad, and would be far more likely to have the interests of this kingdom at heart. As a statesman, then, without any reference to narrow ideas of bigotry, or hatred to the Roman Catholic religion—he hated no religion—he asked himself this question, was it for the interest of this country that the Irish Roman Catholic priests should be educated in Ireland? If they were to be educated in Ireland their educational institutions must be properly endowed. But he looked also at the bench opposite; the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Deasy) had spoken of the right hon. occupants of that bench as of men who might hereafter hold high office. He (Mr. Roebuck) thought it a very significant circumstance that they were all absent on the present occasion. Why were they not present? He would tell the House why—it was not difficult to do—they were absent, because they were statesmen. They were not there because they at some time expected to govern this country, and they knew that when they did govern it they would be totally incapable of supporting the views of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire. Why, was not the army at that moment filled with men professing the faith which the hon. Member denounced? Had not Ireland supplied men for Alma, and Inkerman, and Balaklava? and should we now turn round on her and say, that the doctrines of the religion which those men professed should not be taught in an institution endowed by the State? The hon. Member for West Surrey (Mr. Drummond) had spoken of members of the Catholic religion who were liberal men and opposed to the teaching of Maynooth, adding, for himself, that the teaching did not meet with his approval. But was that House going to set itself up as a judge of truth or falsehood in matters of religion? He (Mr. Roebuck) had learned enough to know that no man in his senses would interfere between any other man and the great God of Nature. Such matters should remain matters of conscience, and he, acting in the humble spirit of a Christian, would not attempt to go between any man and his Maker. Well, then, he said that any attempt on the part of the House to interfere with the teaching at Maynooth was both preposterous and absurd, and never had it been less fitting to interfere with that institution than at present. It had been well put by the hon. Member for Cork, that in 1798 there was an insurrection in Ireland, and at that time the Catholic priesthood were against England as well as the Catholic population. In 1848 there was again insurrection; but that time neither Catholic priesthood nor Catholic people were against us. It was notorious to every one in the House that the insurrection, fomented by what was called Young Ireland, met no sympathy either from the priests or people of that country. But '98 was supported by the priests, and therein was shown the wisdom of Mr. Pitt's proposal. Mr. Pitt said he would educate the priests in Ireland under English inspection, and their conduct in '48 was the result. In the insurrection of '48 the priests of Ireland were on the side of the English Government, and therefore he inferred that the teaching at Maynooth was not inimical to the security of this country. Let them not then interfere with the teaching at Maynooth, lest by taking away the grant they should deprive themselves of the right of visitation. If they did so, the Irish priests would throw themselves into the arms of foreigners, and the latter would teach them what they pleased. Looking at this question apart from doctrinal points, but simply as an imperial legislator, he thought that for the safety of this country they should maintain the Maynooth grant, and in doing so, maintain their dominion over the teachers of that institution. On this account the grant should have his support.


said, that very considerable discussion might arise as to the effect of the words used in the Amendment of the hon. Member for Edinburgh. He thought that, according to their strict meaning, they would apply to all Paeliamentary grants made to religious denominations in Ireland. They would apply not only to the grant to Maynooth, but also to the grants to Trinity College, the Established Church of Ireland, Presbyterian endowments, and all other grants of a similar nature. The grant to Maynooth had been spoken of as coming from the English nation; forgetting that Ireland paid a portion of the taxes of the Empire, and that but a very limited amount of such taxation was expended on that country. Irish Members had always supported grants for endowments of every kind connected with England, and yet when a small grant was asked for Ireland, no matter whether for Presbyterian, scholastic, or religious purposes, they were at once told that the grant was English. He thought the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, in making his Motion annually, was playing into the hands of those who were the bitterest enemies of the Church to which he was so attached. Maynooth was not struck at, but the ultimate aim of some of the most eager supporters of this Motion was the Established Church. He trusted this was the last occasion on which the hon. Gentleman would bring the Motion forward.


Sir, I confess I have felt regret that the hon. Member for North Warwickshire should have thought it his duty again to bring this subject under discussion in this House. I think that nothing can be more unfortunate than repeated discussions in the House on matters not tending to political objects; but on matters turning almost entirely—as these discussions have turned, by the example of the hon. Mover—upon theological questions and polemical disputes. No doubt the hon. Member wishes, as every good Protestant must naturally wish, that all the subjects of the Queen should be of the same creed as himself. But those who profess the Catholic religion feel, on the other hand, very naturally too, a corresponding wish that all were of their persuasion. Now, these matters are not subjects which can depend upon discussions in this House. It is not, I think, by the stirring up of the angry passions of polemical controversy that we can hope to bring over to our creed those who differ from us. On the contrary, the more such questions are discussed in the spirit which I am sorry to see the hon. Member has thought fit to introduce into this subject—the more these matters are discussed in an angry and irritating spirit the less likely is it that that harmony can be established which is the only avenue towards an approximation, if that be possible, on matters of such great and high importance. But I look upon this question simply in a political point of view. The question before us is not one as to the comparative doctrines of the two creeds which the hon. Member has discussed. The question is simply one of political expediency. Is it disadvantageous or not that this endowment should continue? Is it just, and fair, and consistent with the engagements we have entered into towards Ireland, that we should continue it, or are we really at liberty to abolish it, as is proposed by the hon. Gentleman? Sir, in the first place, I would say that the course of debate has shown that there is an engagement entered into of good faith towards the Irish people, which, I think, ought to lead us to maintain the institution upon the footing on which it now stands. It has been well observed that this is not an establishment originating with Catholic authorities. It originated, on the contrary, under a Protestant Parliament in Ireland, and was subsequently sanctioned by a Protestant Parliament in England, and was placed upon its present footing by the Imperial Parliament, upon the recommendation of a Protestant Minister of this country. Sir, I will not enter into the question of the particular teaching in Maynooth. It has been argued that this teaching is altogether inconsistent with the loyalty due to the Sovereign of these Realms. Sir, I look to results. Now, I would ask the hon. Gentleman whether Ireland has ever been more loyal than it is at this moment, or whether the Irish people had ever given greater attention than they are now doing to social improvements and to the development of the natural resources of the country? I would ask whether Ireland was ever more tranquil or quiet than it is at this moment? Or, if we are to judge of the instruction of the people by its results, whether there was ever a moment when you had better reason to be satisfied with the system of teaching in Ireland? Sir, I do not attach any weight or value to what has been urged in the course of this debate as to the conduct of the Irish soldiers and sailors in the late war in which we have been engaged, because there never was a period in the history of the country in which the Irish engaged in our army and navy did not do their duty in a manner most honourable to the nation to which they belonged. There is nothing peculiar, however praiseworthy it may be, in the conduct of the Irish during the operations of the war which were closed by the peace which has been lately signed. But I look at this question in the view of political expediency. Will the hon. Member and those who support his Motion say that there is a tendency in the doctrines of the Catholic Church to direct the attention of men towards a foreign authority; that this is the natural result of what are called Ultramontane doctrines? That, Sir, may no doubt be an evil. I will not dispute that point with the hon. Member. But would the hon. Gentleman add to that evil the evil of having priests educated abroad? Would the hon. Gentleman have them not only tainted, as he says, by doctrines promulgated by foreign ecclesiastical authority, but also have them brought up as foreigners, and return home as strangers to their native country? Would he have them come back with views totally at variance with the impressions which are produced by an education at home? Does he think that by an education abroad he would mend that condition of the Irish priesthood which was the great object of his animadversions? I say, whether these Catholic priests do or do not entertain those peculiar doctrines about ecclesiastical discipline which the hon. Member objects to, at all events let them be brought up as Irishmen. Do not send them for instruct- tion abroad. Let them not come back to Ireland imbued with such opinions and feelings as are acquired by a foreign education. Whether these opinions be Ultramontane or not, let them at least be Irish. Let them be attached to the country of their birth by the habits of their education. I am perfectly willing to trust to their loyalty if they be permitted to receive their education at home. On these grounds, therefore, without going through those matters which I think have been too much discussed, I shall oppose both the Motion and the Amendment. I hope, Sir, if it is possible to anticipate any change in the opinions and conduct of the hon. Member—I hope these matters may never again be brought before us. I am, however, afraid I cannot entertain any very sanguine hope that we shall hear no more of this question. I have, certainly, no disposition to follow the hon. Member's example; I shall rather follow the example of those mentioned by the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield—of those who, though by no means less sincere Protestants than the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, who are much better statesmen, and who better understood the real interests of their country—of those who are actuated by sentiments which, I think, are more becoming the legislators of England, and who feel that they do not, in any degree, sacrifice their own principles, or act with treachery to the religion they profess, by affording to the priesthood of a large portion of their fellow-countrymen the means of an education at home, thus implanting in them those feelings of attachment to their country with which, I think, it is essential the instruction of the people should always be alienated. Having said so much, I have only to express a hope that the House will think with me, that it is time to put an end to these polemical and irritating discussions.


denied that he had brought forward this question in an angry or irritating spirit. He had stated his reasons for the Motion as fairly and as calmly as he could. He viewed this question as a matter of principle, and he felt that he could not conscientiously consent to the continuance of this grant. If the noble Lord's arguments were right he should go further, and release the Sovereign from the oath she took at her coronation to support the Protestant reformed religion as by law established. The noble Lord had not attempted to answer the allegation, that the Protestant religion declared that the doctrines taught at Rome, and the sacrifice of the mass were "idolatrous," or that in the Articles of our Church those doctrines were declared to be "blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits." The noble Lord had said that he followed the example of Mr. Pitt and Sir R. Peel; but he forgot the reason given by those statesmen for their support of Maynooth, namely, their desire to have an educated and quiet priesthood. Had not the result been a failure? Were not the priests of Ireland the leaders of rebellion and the instigators of discontent? He would grant the Roman Catholics all civil rights, but would not support that which the Established Church held to be idolatrous. The Amendment of the hon. Member for Edinburgh should receive his most strenuous opposition. He would join in voting £30,000 a year for the improvement of Ireland, but not for the maintenance of an institution the continuance of which could not be defended on grounds of sound policy or Christian law.

Question put, "That those words be there added."

The House divided:—Ayes 21; Noes 253: Majority 232.

Main Question put,

The House divided:—Ayes 159; Noes 133; Majority 26.

List of theAYES.
Agnew, Sir A. Cholmondeley, Lord H.
Anderson, Sir J. Clive, hon. R. W.
Arbuthnott, hon. Gen. Cole, hon. H. A.
Archdall, Capt. M. Cowan, C.
Bailey, Sir J. Craufurd, E. H. J.
Baldock, E. H. Crook, J.
Barnes, T. Crossley, F.
Barrington, Visct. Davie, Sir H. R. F.
Bateson, T. Davies, J. L.
Baxter, W. E. Davison, R.
Bell, J. Dod, J. W.
Bentinck, G. W. P. Duckworth, Sir J. T. B.
Beresford, rt. hon. W. Duke, Sir J.
Bernard, Visct. Duncan, G.
Bignold, Sir S. Duncombe, hon. A.
Blackburn, P. Duncombe, hon. O.
Boldero, Col. Dundas, F.
Bramley-Moore, J. Dunlop, A. M.
Brocklehurst, J. Du Pre, C. G.
Buck, Col. East, Sir J. B.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Egerton, Sir P.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Egerton, W. T.
Cairns, H. M'C. Egerton, E. C.
Campbell, Sir A. I. Ellice, E.
Carnae, Sir J. R. Ewart, W.
Challis, Mr. Ald. Farnham, E. B.
Chambers, M. Fergus, J.
Chectham, J. Ferguson, J.
Child, S. Fergusson, Sir J.
Floyer, J. Mostyn, hon. T. E. M. L.
Forster, Sir G. Mowbray, J. R.
Freestun, Col. Mundy, W.
Gardner, R. Napier, rt. hon. J.
Gilpin, Col. Napier, Sir C.
Greaves, E. Newark, Visct.
Greenall, G. Newdegate, C. N.
Grogan, E. Noel, hon. G. J.
Guinness, R. S. North, Col.
Gurney, J. H. Ossulston, Lord
Gwyn, H. Packe, C. W.
Haddo, Lord Palk, L.
Hadfield, G. Palmer, R.
Hamilton, Lord C. Pellatt, A.
Hamilton, rt. hon. R. C. N. Percy, hon. J. W.
Hardy, G. Phillimore, J. G.
Hastie, Alexander Pigott, F.
Hastie, Archibald Pilkington, J.
Hayes, Sir E. Repton, G. W. J.
Hill, Lord A. E. Robertson, P. F.
Hindley, C. Rolt, P.
Hotham, Lord Rust, J.
Irton, S. Seymour, W. D.
Johnstone, J. Sibthorp, Maj.
Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H. Smith, J. B.
Jolliffe, H. H. Smith, W. M.
Jones, Admiral Smith, A.
Keating, H. S. Smollett, A.
Kendall, N. Stafford, A.
Kershaw, J. Stanhope, J. B.
King, hon. P. J. L. Stracey, Sir H. J.
King, J. K. Stuart, Capt.
Kinnaird, hon. A. F. Sturt, H. G.
Knatchbull, W. F. Thompson, G.
Laing, S. Tite, W.
Langton, W. G. Tollemache, J.
Langton, H. G. Traill, G.
Lockhart, W. Trollope, rt. hon. Sir J.
Luce, T. Vance, J.
Mackie, J. Vansittart, G. H.
MacGregor, James Verner, Sir W.
MacGregor, John Vyse, Col.
TacTaggart, Sir J. Waddington, D.
Masterman, J. Walcott, Admiral
Matheson, Sir J. Warren, S.
Maxwell, hon. J. P. Wise, J. A.
Miall, E. Woodd, B. T.
Milligan, R. Wynne, W. W. E.
Mills, T. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Michell, W. TELLERS.
Montgomery, Sir G. Spooner, R.
Morris, D. Bruce, Maj. C.
List of theNOES.
Acton, J. Burke, Sir T. J.
Antrobus, E. Byng, hon. G. H. C.
Atherton, W. Clinton, Lord R.
Bailey, C. Cockburn, Sir A. J. E.
Baines, rt. hon. M. T. Cocks, T. S.
Ball, J. Coote, Sir C. H.
Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. T. Deasy, R.
Beamish, F. B. De Vere, S. E.
Beaumont, W. B. Devereux, J. T.
Berkeley, G. C. L. Dillwyn, L. L.
Biddulph, R. M. Duff, G. S.
Black, A. Dunne, M.
Blake, M. J. Dunne, Col.
Bond, J. W. M'G. Emlyn, Visct.
Bonham-Carter, J. Ewart, J. C.
Bowyer, G. Fagan, W.
Brady, J. FitzGerald, Sir J.
Brand, hon. H. Forster, C.
Brotherton, J. French, F.
Gladstone, Capt. O'Brien, P.
Gordon, hon. A. O'Brien, J.
Gower, hon. F. L. O'Connell, Capt. D.
Grace, O. D. J. Oliveira, B.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Palmerston, Visct.
Greene, J. Paxton, Sir J.
Grenfell, C. W. Peel, Sir R.
Greville, Col. F. Peel, F.
Grosvenor, Earl Peel, Gen.
Halford, Sir H. Perry, Sir T. E.
Hall, rt. hon. Sir B. Philipps, J. H.
Hankey, T. Pinney, Col.
Harcourt, G. G. Power, N.
Hayter, rt. hon. W. G. Price, W. P.
Heard, J. I. Pritchard, J.
Henchy, D. O'Connor Ricardo, O.
Heneage, G. F. Rice, E. R.
Herbert, H. A. Richardson, J. J.
Heywood, J. Ridley, G.
Higgins, Col. O. Roebuck, J. A.
Holford, R. S. Russell, F. C. H.
Horsman, rt. hon. E. Russell, F. W.
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Scholefield, W.
Howard, Lord E. Scully, F.
Hughes, W. B. Scully, V.
Hutchins, E. J. Seymer, H. K.
Ingram, H. Seymour, H. D.
Kennedy, T. Shee, W.
Kirk, W. Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Labouchere, rt. hon. H. Steel, J.
Lennox, Lord H. G. Strutt, rt. hon. E.
Lewis, rt. hon. Sir G. C. Sullivan, M.
Littleton, hon. E. R. Swift, R.
MacEvoy, E. Tancred, H. W.
M'Cann, J. Thornely, T.
M'Mahon, P. Tottenham, C.
Maguire, J. F. Vivian, H. H.
Manners, Lord J. Waterpark, Lord
Martin, P. W. Watson, W. H.
Massey, W. N. Whatman, J.
Meagher, T. Whitbread, S.
Monck, Visct. Willcox, B. M'G.
Moncreiff, James Williams, W.
Monsell, rt. hon. W. Wilson, J.
Mowatt, F. Wyvill, M.
Mulgrave, Earl of
Murrough, J. P. TELLERS.
Norreys. Sir D. J. Castlerosse, Visct.
North, F. Wilkinson, W. A.

House in Committee; Mr. NEWDEGATE in the chair.


I have now, Sir, to move for leave to bring in a Bill for the purpose of repealing 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.

Motion made, and Question proposed— That the Chairman be directed to move the House, that leave be given to bring in a Bill to provide for the withdrawal from the College of Maynooth of any Endowment out of the Consolidated Fund, due regard being had to vested rights or interests.


moved, as an Amendment, that the Chairman report progress, and ask leave to sit again.


The question is that I do report progress, and ask leave to sit again.


hoped the House would agree to that, and that it would be the only progress that would be made.

Motion made and Question put, "That the Chairman do report progress and ask leave to sit again."

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 132; Noes, 154: Majority, 22.

Original Question again proposed.


I am anxious, Mr. Newdegate, to have the benefit of your opinion on a matter of some moment. I have had the honour of hearing you put the question in as distinct a manner as it is possible for a question to be put, and, unless my ears deceived me strangely, when you called upon such Members as were of opinion that you should report progress to say "Aye," I heard the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner) utter that word. I am not sufficiently versed in the usages of the House to know how that fact should affect the division list. The subject under discussion is one of very deep interest to my constituency, and as it is of great importance that there should not be any misrepresentation as to the numbers who have voted on this occasion, I take leave to ask you whether we of the minority may not claim the vote of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire? who, I repeat, distinctly said "Aye" to the question that you do leave the chair.


In reply to the hon. Gentleman, I beg to say that as no notice was taken of the circumstance at the time, it cannot now be entertained.


moved, that the Chairman do now leave the chair.


Sir, I confess I did not expect or think it possible that the solemn decision of this House could have been treated as a farce by the First Minister of the Crown. I say I did not expect that, after a decision had been come to by a majority of this House upon a question of this important nature, the noble Lord the First Minister of the Crown would presume to rise and state that he hoped the progress then made was the only progress that would be made. Sir, I occupy a very humble position in this House; but I will not lose this opportunity of protesting against such a mode as that of dealing with a solemn question—a question, Sir, which, is regarded by the people of this country as one of the most vital importance in point of principle. I hope the private Members of this House, those who, like myself, are little accustomed to interfere in its proceedings, will not fail, on the next division, to express their feeling with regard to this mode of dealing with a public question after it has been decided upon by a not contemptible majority of this House; that they will not allow their solemn proceedings to be converted into a farce and an absurdity; and that the question now to be put will not be carried without a lesson being given to the minority which the Government will find exceedingly inconvenient in carrying on the business of the country.


If anything I said was wanting in solemnity, certainly I cannot retort the charge upon the hon. Member. At the same time, I am not at all sensible that there is any impropriety in a Member of this House, who is opposed to a particular measure, rising in his place and expressing a hope that it may make no further progress; that hope, without meaning the slightest disrespect to the hon. Member, I still entertain. However, I would entreat the hon. Member who has moved that the Chairman should leave the chair, to permit the House to come to a decision on the question itself. I thought it quite right, when the Motion was made for reporting progress, to support that Motion; but the House having affirmed the contrary, I think that, now the House is full, and the discussion is brought to a close, it is more fitting that we should come to a vote on the main question rather than that Members should be detained here by Amendments of this sort. If the Motion of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire is affirmed, a Bill will be then brought in, which of course will have to be discussed hereafter; and this being the case, I think that, at all events, we should at once come to a decision upon that question.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 159, Noes 142: Majority 17.

House resumed.

Resolution for Bill reported, and Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. NEWDEGATE, Mr. SPOONER, and Mr. BENTINCK.

Bill read 1°.